Australian inflation hits 21-year high, peak yet to come

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Consumer price inflation in Australia hit a 21-year high in the last quarter and is expected to accelerate further as food and energy costs soar, fueling speculation, interest rates will have to more than double to bring the epidemic under control.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday showed the consumer price index (CPI) jumped 1.8% in the June quarter, just below market forecast of 1.9%. The annual rate fell from 5.1% to 6.1%, the highest since 2001 and more than double the rate of wage growth.

A closely watched measure of core inflation, the trimmed average, rose 1.5% in the quarter, bringing the annual pace to the highest since the series began in 2003 at 4.9%.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Himani Sarkar)