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6401.0 - Consumer Price Index, Australia, Mar 2013 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/04/2013   
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MAIN CONTRIBUTORS TO CHANGE


CPI GROUPS

The discussion of the CPI groups below is ordered in terms of their absolute significance to the change in All groups index points for the quarter (see Tables 6 and 7).

Weighted average of eight capital cities, Percentage change from previous quarter
Graph: Weighted average of eight capital cities, Percentage change from previous quarter



HOUSING GROUP (+1.2%)

The housing group rose in the March quarter 2013. The main contributors to the rise were new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+1.7%), electricity (+2.4%) and rents (+0.8%).

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the housing group rose 5.1% with rises in all categories. The main contributors to the rise were electricity (+17.1%), rents (+3.5%) and new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+2.8%).


EDUCATION GROUP (+5.7%)

The education group rose in the March quarter 2013, with the commencement of the new school year. Rises in tertiary education (+6.5%), secondary education (+5.4%) and preschool and primary education (+4.6%) drove this movement.

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the education group rose 5.8%.


HEALTH GROUP (+3.0%)

The health group rose in the March quarter 2013. The main contributors to the rise were pharmaceutical products (+7.6%) and medical and hospital services (+2.0%). The rises were mainly due to the cyclical reduction in the proportion of patients who qualify for subsidies under the Pharmaceuticals Benefit Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) at the start of each calendar year.

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the health group rose 6.1%, mainly due to rises in medical and hospital services (+9.3%).


CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR GROUP (-3.9%)

The clothing and footwear group fell in the March quarter 2013. The main contributors to the fall were garments for men (-5.4%), footwear for women (-6.7%) and accessories (-4.5%).

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the clothing and footwear group fell 1.5%. The main contributors to the fall were footwear for women (-5.7%) and garments for women (-1.5%).


FOOD AND NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES GROUP (-0.8%)

The food and non-alcoholic beverages group fell in the March quarter 2013. The main contributors to the fall were fruit (-7.0%) and vegetables (-4.0%). This fall was partially offset by a rise in take away and fast foods (+0.7%).

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the food and non-alcoholic beverages group rose 1.6%. The main contributors to the rise were fruit (+7.7%) and take away and fast foods (+3.2%). The rise was partially offset by a fall in lamb and goat (-12.1%).


ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO GROUP (+1.6%)

The alcohol and tobacco group rose in the March quarter 2013. The main contributor to the rise was tobacco (+3.7%) partially due to the effects of the federal excise tax increase. Federal excise tax is increased on 1 February and 1 August each year.

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the alcohol and tobacco group rose 3.7%. The main contributor to the rise was tobacco (+7.5%).


FURNISHINGS, HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES GROUP (-1.3%)

The furnishings, household equipment and services group fell in the March quarter 2013. The main contributors to the fall were furniture (-6.8%), household textiles (-6.7%) and glassware, tableware and household utensils (-4.7%). The fall was partially offset by a rise in childcare (+3.3%).

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the furnishings, household equipment and services group rose 0.6%. The main contributors to the rise were child care (+7.9%) and other household services (+6.4%). The rise was partially offset by a fall in furniture (-2.3%).


RECREATION AND CULTURE GROUP (-0.8%)

The recreation and culture group fell in the March quarter 2013. The main contributors to the fall were international holiday travel and accommodation (-5.2%) and audio, visual and computing equipment (-4.7%). The fall was partially offset by a rise in domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+1.2%).

In the CPI, airfares are collected in advance (at the time of payment), but are only used in the CPI in the quarter in which the trip is undertaken. International airfares are collected two months in advance (January for travel in March) and domestic airfares are collected one month in advance (January for travel in February).

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the recreation and culture group fell 0.5%. The main contributor to the fall was audio, visual and computing equipment (-13.5%).


TRANSPORT GROUP (+0.5%)

The transport group rose in the March quarter 2013. The main contributor to the rise was automotive fuel (+1.2%).

Automotive fuel fell in November (-3.5%), rose in December (+0.4%), fell in January (-0.4%), rose in February (+4.2%) and fell in March (-0.9%).

The following graph illustrates the movement of the average daily prices for unleaded petrol for the weighted average of eight capital cities over the last fifteen months.

Diagram: Transport group (+0.5%)

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the transport group rose 1.4%. The main contributors to the rise were other services in respect of motor vehicles (+7.3%), maintenance and repair of motor vehicles (+4.2%) and urban transport fares (+4.5%). The rise was partially offset by a fall in motor vehicles (-2.1%).


INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP (+0.7%)

The insurance and financial services group rose in the March quarter 2013. The main contributor to the rise was insurance (+1.9%).

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the insurance and financial services group rose 2.9%. The main contributor to the rise was insurance (+9.0%).


COMMUNICATION GROUP (+0.0%)

The communication group recorded no change in the March quarter 2013.

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the communication group rose 1.5%. The main contributors to the rise were telecommunication equipment and services (+1.4%) and postal services (+2.8%).


INTERNATIONAL TRADE EXPOSURE - TRADABLES AND NON-TRADABLES

The tradables component (see Table 8) of the All Groups CPI fell 1.2% in the March quarter 2013. Prices for the goods and services in this component are largely determined on the world market. The tradables component represents approximately 40% of the weight of the CPI. The most significant contributors to the 0.9% fall in the tradable goods component were furniture, fruit, audio, visual and computing equipment, garments for men and vegetables. The most significant offsetting rises in the tradable goods component were for pharmaceutical products, tobacco, automotive fuel, other non-durable household products and wine. The fall in the tradable services component of 5.2% was driven by international holiday travel and accommodation.

The non-tradables component of the All Groups CPI rose 1.3% in the March quarter 2013. Prices for the goods and services in this component are largely determined by domestic price pressures. The non-tradables component represents approximately 60% of the weight of the CPI. The non-tradable goods component rose 1.0% mainly due to new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers, electricity and take away and fast foods. The most significant offsetting falls were for milk, water and sewerage, bread and beer. The non-tradable services component rose 1.4% mainly due to increases in tertiary education, secondary education, medical and hospital services and rents. There were no offsetting falls.

Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the tradables component fell 0.2% while the non-tradables component rose 4.2%. This compares to a fall of 0.4% and a rise of 3.9% respectively through the year to the December quarter 2012.

A detailed description of which expenditure classes are classified as tradable and non-tradable in the 16th series is shown in Appendix 1 of the September quarter 2011 issue of Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no 6401.0).


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ANALYTICAL SERIES

In the March quarter 2013, the All groups CPI, seasonally adjusted rose 0.1%, compared to the unadjusted All groups CPI which recorded a rise of 0.4%.

The trimmed mean rose 0.3% in the March quarter 2013, compared to a rise of 0.6% in the December quarter 2012. Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the trimmed mean rose 2.2% compared to a rise of 2.3% over the twelve months to the December quarter 2012.

The weighted median rose 0.5% in the March quarter 2013, compared to a revised rise of 0.6% in the December quarter 2012. Over the twelve months to the March quarter 2013, the weighted median rose 2.6% compared to a revised rise of 2.5% over the twelve months to the December quarter 2012.

A detailed explanation of the seasonal adjustment of the All Groups CPI is available in Information Paper: Seasonal Adjustment of Consumer Price Indexes, 2011 (cat. no. 6401.0.55.003) available on the ABS website. This paper includes a description of the seasonal adjustment method applied, the trimmed mean and weighted median.

Revisions to the seasonally adjusted estimates can be the result of the application of concurrent seasonal adjustment, described in paragraph 15 of the Explanatory Notes.


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