philip-lowe
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

The era of inflation being a key determinant of economic policymaking is over in Australia, at least for time being, with the September quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI) result confirming the pandemic delivered the coup de grace to already weak inflation in Australia.

As expected, yesterday's CPI showed one of the largest quarter-on-quarter rises seen for some time -- 1.6%. But that was down to the government's restoration of childcare fees, the removal of which had helped send inflation to -1.9% fall in the June quarter. It was still only enough to lift the year-on-year CPI to 0.7%.

The Reserve Bank's (RBA) preferred inflation measures, which strip out more volatile elements, showed inflation dormant: 1.2% annual for the trimmed mean and 1.3% for the weighted median; 0.4% and 0.3% respectively for the quarterly results. In both cases, the annual rate didn't shift from the June to the September quarters.