The latest Consumer Price Index figures were released today igniting hopes that the Reserve Bank will postpone a potential interest rate rise next week.

The figures are below industry forecasts, despite rising slightly from the previous quarter.

Kathleen Calderwood reports.

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The CPI figure finished at 0.7 per cent for the September quarter but below the industry forecast of 0.9 per cent.

This represents good news for the inflation rate which is sitting at 2.4 per cent the lowest in five years.

Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer: “Quite encouragingly the underlying inflation rate has returned to around the middle of the RBA’s target band.”

Providing some possible short term relief from an interest rate rise.

Bill Evans, Westpac: “Inflation pressures are not building they’re actually easing. So it’s going to be very hard for the reserve bank to make a case to raise interest rates next week.”

The government says the rising Australian dollar is helping to moderate price pressures, despite the country’s high cost of living.

Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer: “Australians are still confronted with higher utility bills, that is very clear in the figures today and they are putting further pressures on family budgets.”

These favourable results follow calls from Greens leader, Bob Brown, to reject Singapore’s $8.5-billion offer to buy the Australian Stock Exchange.

The government says its decision will maximise the country’s economic prosperity.

Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer: “This is an important process. I don’t speculate about its outcome but what I do is methodically work through the assessments which are provided to me by the foreign investment review board.”

The next interest rate movement will be announced on Melbourne Cup Day.

Kathleen Calderwood, QUT News.