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Australian inflation increases on the heels of new tax on pollution

SYDNEY -- Australian inflation came in ahead of forecasts Wednesday, rising a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent in the September quarter as electricity prices jumped following the introduction of a pollution tax.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the consumer price index was 2 percent higher on-year as power prices rocketed 15.3 percent.

Analysts had expected quarter-on-quarter inflation of 1.1 percent, and 1.7 percent over the year.

The spike in electricity prices followed the introduction on July 1 of an AU$23 per metric ton (US$24) tax on pollution linked to climate change. Australia's coal-fired power stations are big emitters.

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