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6467.0 - Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Mar 2012 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/05/2012   
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MARCH KEY FIGURES

Weighted average of eight capital cities
Dec Qtr 2011 to Mar Qtr 2012 % change
Mar Qtr 2011 to Mar Qtr 2012 % change

Food and non-alcoholic beverages
-2.8
-3.7
Alcohol and tobacco
1.6
4.2
Clothing and footwear
-2.3
0.8
Housing
1.3
5.0
Furnishings, household equipment and services
-0.9
0.4
Health
8.6
4.5
Transport
1.2
3.0
Communication
0.0
1.6
Recreation and culture
-1.5
-0.7
Education
6.4
6.5
Insurance and financial services
-1.6
0.9
All groups
0.1
1.4


PBLCI - All Groups, Quarterly change
Graph: PBLCI - All Groups, Quarterly change

PBLCI - All Groups, Contribution to quarterly change - March Quarter 2012
Graph: PBLCI - All Groups, Contribution to quarterly change—March Quarter 2012




MARCH KEY POINTS


THE ALL GROUPS PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX (PBLCI)
  • rose 0.1% for the March quarter 2012, compared with a fall of 0.2% in the December quarter 2011.
  • showed the same rise for the March quarter 2012 as the CPI (+0.1%).
  • rose 1.4% through the year to the March quarter 2012, compared to a rise of 3.2% through the year to the December quarter 2011.
  • showed a smaller rise through the year to the March quarter 2012 than the CPI (+1.6%).


OVERVIEW OF PBLCI MOVEMENTS
  • The most significant price rises this quarter were for health (+8.6%).
  • Food and non-alcohol beverages (-2.8%) provided the most significant offsetting price rise this quarter.


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2012 1 August 2012
September 2012 31 October 2012
December 2012 30 January 2013
March 2013 1 May 2013



FUTURE CHANGES

From the September quarter 2012, all index numbers will be calculated on a new index reference period of 2011-12. This will result in the index numbers for each index series being reset to 100.0 for the financial year 2011-12. Period-to-period percentage changes may differ slightly to those previously published due to rounding and the re-referencing. These differences do not constitute a revision. Further information on re-referencing can be found in chapter 12 of Information Paper: Consumer Price Index Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2011 (cat. no. 6461.0).

The June quarter 2012 issue of this product will be the last issue in this format. From the September quarter 2012 issue (scheduled for release on 31 October 2012), statistics on the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (cat. no. 6467.0) and the Analytical Living Cost Indexes for Selected Australian Household Types (cat. no. 6463.0) will be amalgamated into a single product Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia (cat. no. 6467.0). An appendix will be provided in the June quarter 2012 issue which will present the new publication format.

Consumer Price Index values published in Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia (cat. no. 6467.0) will reflect the values published in Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0). There will no longer be a need to re-reference values for comparison with living cost indexes following index re-referencing. All indexes will have a common index reference period of 2011-12 = 100.0.


ROUNDING

Any discrepancies between totals and sums of components in this publication are due to rounding.


INDEX NUMBERS USE REFERENCE BASE OF JUNE QUARTER 2007 = 100.0

To allow comparison of the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index with other ABS price indexes, all index numbers in this publication use a reference base of June quarter 2007 = 100.0. However, percentage changes used in this publication for the Consumer Price Index are as published in Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0). The percentage changes for Analytical Living Cost Indexes used in this publication are as published in Analytical Living Cost Indexes for Selected Australian Household Types (cat. no. 6463.0).


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


THE PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX

The Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) has been designed to answer the question:

'By how much would after tax money incomes need to change to allow age pensioners and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits to purchase the same quantity of consumer goods and services that they purchased in the base period?'

The PBLCI has been derived by combining the age pensioner Analytical Living Cost Index (ALCI) and the other government transfer recipient ALCI. Living cost indexes are intended to measure the impact of changes in prices on the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by these particular household types.

In the March quarter 2012, both the PBLCI and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.1%.

Since the PBLCI series began in June quarter 2007 it has risen 16.8% to the March quarter 2012, compared to 14% for the CPI. Differences have occurred for a number of reasons that relate to factors that affect the component series used to compile the PBLCI. The inclusion of mortgage interest and consumer credit charges and the different treatments of housing and insurance in the PBLCI result in variations between the PBLCI and the CPI series. The expenditure patterns of age pensioner and other government transfer recipient households differ from those of the overall household sector covered by the CPI, which also contributes to differences in the percentage changes.

For more information on the relationship between the PBLCI, CPI and the ALCIs, see the Explanatory Notes.


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