Consumer Price Index
Name of Collection
Consumer Price Index
Consumer Price Indexes Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PO Box 10
BELCONNEN ACT 2616
Telephone: Canberra 02 6252 6251
Facsimile: Canberra 02 6253 6130
To measure changes over time in retail prices of a constant basket of goods and services representative of consumption expenditure by all private households in Australian metropolitan areas.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used as a measure of inflation for macro-economic policy management, for general indexation of public and private sector contracts and as input to the income adjustment process.
Prices of goods and services are generally collected quarterly in retail outlets. However, some important items are priced monthly or more frequently (e.g. bread, fresh meat and seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, petrol) and a small number annually (e.g. seasonal clothing).
The 13th series CPI, introduced in the September quarter 1998, is specifically designed to provide a general measure of price inflation for the household sector. The most noticeable changes from the previous CPI are the exclusion of mortgage interest and consumer credit charges from the index and the inclusion of net expenditure on new dwellings (excluding land).
Also from September quarter 1998, the population coverage of the CPI was expanded from the previous restriction to wage and salary earner households to cover all private households in the eight capital cities.
Price indexes are produced each quarter for eight major commodity groups, 33 sub-groups and 101 expenditure classes for each of the eight capital cities and a weighted average of the eight capital cities.
The goods and services are arranged in the following eight groups:
- Household equipment and operation;
- Alcohol and tobacco;
- Health and personal care; and
- Recreation and education.
Private motoring and urban transport fares are included in the transportation group. Domestic and overseas holiday travel fares are included in the recreation and education group.
Australia's eight capital cities and a weighted average of the eight capital cities.
Frequency of Data Availability
Data are released quarterly.
Retail price indexes have been constructed since 1912. The consumer price index was first compiled in the June quarter of 1960 and index numbers were calculated retrospectively to the September quarter of 1948.
Products and Services
Consumer Price Index (cat. no. 6401.0)
Average Retail Prices of Selected Items, Eight Capital Cities (cat. no. 6403.0)
House Price Indexes, Eight Capital Cities (cat. no. 6416.0)
A Guide to the Consumer Price Index (cat. no. 6440.0)
Dial-a-statistic 1900 986 400
CPI Infoline 1902 981 074
Special data services are available on request.
Example of Information Available