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6401.0 - Consumer Price Index, Australia, Sep 2012 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/10/2012   
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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 (+3.2%)

The housing group rose in the September quarter 2012. The main contributors to the rise were electricity (+15.3%), gas and other household fuels (+14.2%), property rates and charges (+5.8%) and new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+0.9%). Many residential utility providers have cited investment in infrastructure and the introduction of carbon pricing as some of the influences driving price increases in the September quarter 2012. The ABS will not be able to quantify the impact of carbon pricing, compensation or other government incentives and will not be producing estimates of price change exclusive of the carbon price or measuring the impact of the carbon price.

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the housing group rose 4.7%. The main contributors were electricity (+18.5%), rents (+4.0%), gas and other household fuels (+18.9%) and new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+1.2%).


FOOD AND NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES GROUP (+1.9%)

The food and non-alcoholic beverages group rose in the September quarter 2012. The main contributors to the rise were vegetables (+10.5%), fruit (+9.7%), take away and fast foods (+0.9%) and bread (+2.9%). The rise in vegetable and fruit prices was mainly due to unfavourable growing and weather conditions. This rise was partially offset by falls in lamb and goat (-2.3%) and other meats (-1.3%).

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the food and non-alcoholic beverages group fell 1.1%. The main contributor to the fall was fruit (-31.0%). The fall was partially offset by rises in vegetables (+10.2%) and take away and fast foods (+3.0%).


HEALTH GROUP (+2.4%)

The health group rose in the September quarter 2012 with all capital cities registering a rise. The main contributor was medical and hospital services (+4.5%), which rose mainly as a result of means-testing reforms of the Private Health Insurance rebate effective from 1 July 2012. The major offset was pharmaceuticals (-2.6%), which was driven by a greater proportion of consumers exceeding the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme safety net compared to the June quarter 2012 causing a fall in prices.

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the health group rose 7.2%. The main contributor to the rise was medical and hospital services (+9.5%).


RECREATION AND CULTURE GROUP (+0.9%)

The recreation and culture group rose in the September quarter 2012. The main contributors to the rise were international holiday travel and accommodation (+6.6%) and sports participation (+2.4%). The most significant offset was recorded in domestic holiday travel and accommodation (-1.3%).

The rise in international holiday travel and accommodation was attributable to increased airfares to most surveyed destinations, coinciding with the shoulder/peak season in Asia and continuing peak season in Europe and North America.

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 (July for travel in September) and domestic airfares are collected one month in advance (July for travel in August).

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the recreation and culture group fell 1.5%. The main contributor to this fall was audio, visual and computing equipment (-13.8%).


FURNISHINGS, HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES GROUP (+1.0%)

The furnishings, household equipment and services group rose in the September quarter 2012. The most significant contributors were furniture (+1.8%) and child care (+2.0%).

Child care (+2.0%) recorded a rise this quarter, primarily due to price rises at most providers which were partially offset by an increase in the maximum rate of Child Care Benefit (CCB) from 1 July 2012. For further information, see Appendix 2 of this issue.

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the furnishings, household equipment and services group rose 1.5%. The main contributors to the rise were child care (+10.0%) and other household services (+6.4%).


TRANSPORT GROUP (-0.8%)

The transport group fell in the September quarter 2012. The main contributors to the fall were automotive fuel (-3.9%) and motor vehicles (-1.0%). The fall was partially offset by rises in maintenance and repair of motor vehicles (+2.4%) and other services in respect of motor vehicles (+2.1%).

The average monthly price of automotive fuel fell in May (-3.2%), June (-6.4%) and July (-2.9%) and rose in August (+5.7%) and September (+2.3%).

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 (–0.8%)

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the transport group rose 1.3%. The main contributors to the rise were other services in respect of motor vehicles (+6.4%) and maintenance and repair of motor vehicles (+3.7%). The rise was partially offset by a fall in motor vehicles (-1.5%).


ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO GROUP (+0.9%)

The alcohol and tobacco group rose in the September quarter 2012. The main contributors to the rise were tobacco (+1.1%) and beer (+0.9%), partially due to the effects of the federal excise tax increase from August 2012.

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the alcohol and tobacco group rose 4.3%. The main contributors to the rise were tobacco (+5.8%) and beer (+4.6%).


COMMUNICATION GROUP (+0.5%)

The communication group rose in the September quarter 2012 due to a rise in the price of telecommunication equipment and services (+0.6%).

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the communication group rose 1.4%. The main contributor to the rise was telecommunication equipment and services (+1.4%).


CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR GROUP (+0.2%)

The clothing and footwear group rose in the September quarter 2012. The main contributors to the rise were garments for men (+2.8%), garments for infants and children (+2.0%) and footwear for infants and children (+1.4%). Accessories (-3.0%) and garments for women (-0.2%) recorded partially offsetting falls.

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the clothing and footwear group fell 0.8%. The main contributor to the fall was accessories (-4.0%).


INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP (+0.2%)

The insurance and financial services group rose in the September quarter 2012. The main contributor to the rise was insurance (+2.6%), which rose mainly due to increases in premiums for house and household contents insurance. The rise was partially offset by a fall in other financial services (-0.9%).

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the insurance and financial services group rose 2.3%. The main contributor to the rise was insurance (+6.8%).


EDUCATION GROUP (+0.1%)

The education group rose in the September quarter 2012. The main contributor to the rise was preschool and primary education (+0.3%).

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the education group rose 6.1%. The main contributors to the rise were secondary education (+7.7%) and tertiary education (+4.7%).


INTERNATIONAL TRADE EXPOSURE - TRADABLES AND NON-TRADABLES

The tradables component (see Table 8) of the All Groups CPI rose 0.6% in the September quarter 2012. 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 0.3% rise in the tradable goods component were vegetables, fruit, furniture, tobacco and garments for men. The most significant offsetting falls in the tradable goods component were for automotive fuel, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products, accessories, audio, visual and computing media and services and audio, visual and computing equipment. The rise in the tradable services component of 6.6% was driven by international holiday travel and accommodation.

The non-tradables component of the All Groups CPI rose 1.8% in the September quarter 2012. 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 3.0% mainly due to electricity, gas and other household fuels, new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers, water and sewerage and take away and fast foods. The non-tradable services component rose 1.2% mainly due to increases in medical and hospital services, property rates and charges, rents, insurance and maintenance and repair of motor vehicles. The most significant offsetting falls were for domestic holiday travel and accommodation and other financial services.

Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the tradables component fell 1.2% while the non-tradables component rose 4.0%. This compares to a fall of 2.0% and a rise of 3.4% respectively through the year to the June 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 September quarter 2012, the All groups CPI, seasonally adjusted rose 1.2%, compared to the unadjusted All groups CPI which recorded a rise of 1.4%.

The trimmed mean rose 0.7% in the September quarter 2012, compared to a revised rise of 0.6% in the June quarter 2012. Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the trimmed mean rose 2.4% compared to a rise of 2.0% over the twelve months to the June quarter 2012.

The weighted median rose 0.8% in the September quarter 2012, compared to a rise of 0.7% in the June quarter 2012. Over the twelve months to the September quarter 2012, the weighted median rose 2.6% compared to a revised rise of 2.2% over the twelve months to the June 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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