Bulletin – September 2011 The Exchange Rate and Consumer Prices Abstract

This article reviews the empirical evidence on exchange rate pass-through to consumer prices in Australia over the inflation-targeting period. It finds that pass-through is relatively low at the aggregate level but is faster and larger for the prices of manufactured goods, which are often imported. There is some evidence that over the past decade exchange rate movements have been flowing through more quickly to retail prices for this subset of highly tradable goods. Looking ahead, the growth of the internet with the greater ability of households to compare prices and to buy from overseas are likely to result in smaller cross-country price differentials and more rapid pass-through from the exchange rate to prices.

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