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6401.0 - Consumer Price Index, Australia, Dec 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2005   
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1 ALL GROUPS, Index Numbers(a)
2 ALL GROUPS, Percentage Changes
CPI All Groups, Weighted Average of Eight Capital Cities, Index Numbers(a)
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Price indexes and contract price indexation

DECEMBER QTR KEY FIGURES

Sep Qtr 2004 to Dec Qtr 2004
Dec Qtr 2003 to Dec Qtr 2004
Weighted average of eight capital cities
% change
% change

Food
1.4
1.7
Alcohol and tobacco
0.7
3.5
Clothing and footwear
-1.4
-1.9
Housing
0.9
3.9
Household furnishings, supplies and services
0.6
-0.1
Health
-0.6
5.0
Transportation
1.4
4.6
Communication
0.3
1.2
Recreation
0.8
-0.2
Education
0.1
7.7
Miscellaneous
0.5
3.0
All groups
0.8
2.6
All groups excluding Housing
0.7
2.3

All Groups, Quarterly change
Graph: All Groups    Quarterly change

Contribution to quarterly change, December quarter 2004
Graph: Contribution to quarterly change   December Quarter 2004



DECEMBER QTR KEY POINTS


THE ALL GROUPS CPI

  • rose 0.8% in the December quarter 2004, compared with 0.4% in the September quarter 2004.
  • rose 2.6% through the year to December quarter 2004.


OVERVIEW OF CPI MOVEMENTS
  • Contributing most to the overall increase this quarter were rises in house purchase (+1.5%), automotive fuel (+2.5%), fruit (+9.2%), domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+4.3%), motor vehicles (+1.5%), beer (+1.5%), restaurant meals (+1.2%) and rents (+0.5%).
  • Partially offsetting these increases were falls in women's outerwear (-3.8%), pharmaceuticals (-4.1%), clothing accessories and jewellery (-2.3%) and toys, games and hobbies (-3.0%).
  • Contributing most to the annual increase were rises in automotive fuel (+15.9%), house purchase (+5.2%), hospital and medical services (+6.3%), rents (+2.2%), beer (+4.4%), tertiary education (+8.4%), fruit (+8.5%), restaurant meals (+3.9%) and tobacco (+3.2%). Partially offsetting these increases were falls in motor vehicles (-2.0%), audio, visual and computing equipment (-13.1%), vegetables (-5.9%), overseas holiday travel and accommodation(-2.9%) and women's outerwear (-3.8%).


NOTES

CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

There are no changes in this issue.



ROUNDING

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



ABBREVIATIONS

ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics


CPI Consumer Price Index



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact Steve Whennan on Canberra (02) 6252 6251 or the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.



ANALYSES AND COMMENTS


MAIN CONTRIBUTORS TO CHANGE


CPI GROUPS

WEIGHTED AVERAGE OF EIGHT CAPITAL CITIES, Percentage change from previous quarter
Graph: WEIGHTED AVERAGE OF EIGHT CAPITAL CITIES Percentage change from previous quarter



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



FOOD (+1.4%)

The rise in food prices was mainly due to increases in the price of fruit (+9.2%), restaurant meals (+1.2%), beef and veal (+3.5%), pork (+11.5%), vegetables (+1.8%) and take away and fast foods (+0.6%). These increases were partially offset by a fall in the price of lamb and mutton (-3.0%).


The increase in fruit prices can be largely attributed to reduced supplies of bananas, apples and citrus fruit. Meat prices varied, with beef and veal and pork increasing due to tightening of supplies, while lamb and mutton prices fell with increased lamb numbers presented at sale yards.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, food prices rose 1.7%. The main contributors to the increase were fruit (+8.5%), restaurant meals (+3.9%), take away and fast foods (+2.0%) and soft drinks, waters and juices (+4.5%). Partially offsetting these increases were falls in vegetables (-5.9%), tea, coffee and food drinks (-3.7%) and bread (-0.7%).



TRANSPORTATION (+1.4%)

Prices for all components of transportation rose this quarter with automotive fuel (+2.5%) and motor vehicles (+1.5%) being the main contributors.


Petrol prices rose in August (+5.3%), September (+0.5%) and October (+3.3%) and fell in November (-1.4%) and December (-5.3%). The price of motor vehicles rose mainly as a result of a reduction in bonuses and other incentives offered by dealers. Prices for both locally produced and imported vehicles increased.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, transportation prices rose 4.6%. Increases in automotive fuel (+15.9%), motor vehicle repair and servicing (+3.2%), other motoring charges (+2.8%) and urban transport fares (+2.3%) more than offset a fall in motor vehicles (-2.0%).



HOUSING (+0.9%)

The rise in housing prices was mainly attributable to increases in house purchase (+1.5%), rents (+0.5%), electricity (+0.5%) and house repairs and maintenance (+0.7%).


The house purchase index rose in all capital cities, driven to a large extent by a general shortage of skilled tradesmen leading to increased labour costs and rising material costs, particularly for steel and roofing materials. The increases ranged from 0.2% in Canberra to 5.2% in Hobart.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, housing prices rose 3.9%. All components of housing rose with house purchase (+5.2%), rents (+2.2%), property rates and charges (+5.2%), electricity (+2.8%), house repairs and maintenance (+2.7%) and gas and other household fuels (+6.4%) being the most significant.



RECREATION (+0.8%)

The rise in the recreation index this quarter was mainly due to increases in domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+4.3%), audio, visual and computing media and services (+1.5%) and sports participation (+1.0%). Falls in toys, games and hobbies (-3.0%), audio, visual and computing equipment (-1.6%) and pets, pet foods and supplies (-1.7%) provided some offsetting price decreases.


The rise in domestic holiday travel and accommodation was due to the seasonal increase in holiday accommodation tariffs and domestic air fares. The fall in toys, games and hobbies reflected pre-Christmas discounting on most toys, board games and video games at department and specialty toy stores.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, the recreation index fell 0.2%. Falls in audio, visual and computing equipment (-13.1%), overseas holiday travel and accommodation (-2.9%) and audio, visual and computing media and services (-2.1%) more than offset increases in other recreational activities (+3.9%), sports participation (+4.7%) and domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+1.4%).



CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR (-1.4%)

Clothing and footwear prices fell this quarter due mainly to decreases in women's outerwear (-3.8%), clothing accessories and jewellery (-2.3%) and men's outerwear (-0.4%). A small rise in children's footwear (+1.2%) provided a partial offsetting increase.


Clothing and footwear prices have fallen in the December quarter of the last two years and reflects, in part, the bringing forward of post-Christmas/New Year sales at department and specialty stores to earlier in December.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, clothing and footwear prices fell 1.9%, with falls in all categories except women's underwear, nightwear and hosiery.



ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO (+0.7%)

Prices for all components of alcohol and tobacco rose this quarter. Beer rose 1.5%; wine 0.3%; spirits 0.7% and tobacco 0.1%.


The increase for beer and spirits was mainly due to the end of some discounting on packaged beer and increases in bar service prices at hotels and clubs.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, alcohol and tobacco prices rose 3.5%. Prices for beer (+4.4%), tobacco (+3.2%), wine (+2.6%) and spirits (+3.5%) all rose.



HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS, SUPPLIES AND SERVICES (+0.6%)

Most categories of household furnishings, supplies and services recorded small price increases this quarter with furniture (+0.8%) and household cleaning agents (+2.3%) being the most significant. A small decrease in small electric household appliances (-2.6%) partially offset this increase.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, household furnishings, supplies and services prices fell 0.1%. Falls in furniture (-1.1%), small electric household appliances (-3.9%), glassware, tableware and household utensils (-3.7%) and towels and linen (-2.8%) were partially offset by increases in other household supplies (+1.9%), household services (+3.3%), household cleaning agents (+2.0%) and floor and window coverings (+1.9%).



HEALTH (-0.6%)

The fall in health costs in the December quarter was due to a fall in the net cost of pharmaceuticals (-4.1%) as a direct result of the cyclical effect of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme safety net, partially offset by small increases in dental services (+1.2%) and optical services (+0.4%).


There was no change in the net cost of hospital and medical services in the December quarter 2004. An increase in general fees for a number medical services was offset by an overall increase in bulk billing ratios for medical services and the negative impact on out-of-hospital medical expenses of the Medicare Plus safety net which was introduced in the March quarter 2004.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, health costs rose 5.0%. Hospital and medical services (+6.3%), dental services (+5.0%) and pharmaceuticals (+1.2%) were the main contributors to this increase.



TRADABLES AND NON-TRADABLES

The non-tradables component (see table 8) of the All groups CPI increased by 0.8% in the December quarter. This component includes goods and services whose prices are determined by domestic price pressures and which represents approximately 55% of the weight of the CPI. Within non-tradables, the services component rose 0.7%, driven largely by increases in domestic holiday travel and accommodation, restaurant meals, rents and house repairs and maintenance. The non-tradables goods component rose 1.0% with house purchase, beer, take away and fast foods and bacon and ham being the main contributors.


The tradables component of the CPI, which includes goods and services whose prices are largely determined on the world market, rose 0.6% in the December quarter. Significant contributors to this increase were automotive fuel, fruit, motor vehicles, beef and veal, pork, vegetables and audio, visual and computing media and services.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, non-tradables rose 3.5% and tradables rose 1.4%. This compares with increases of 3.6% and 0.7%, respectively, for these components over the twelve months to September quarter 2004.



CAPITAL CITIES COMPARISON


ALL GROUPS

ALL GROUPS: PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS QUARTER
Graph: ALL GROUPS: PERCENTAGE CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS QUARTER



At the all groups level, the CPI rose in all capital cities in the December quarter 2004. The increases ranged from 0.2% in Darwin to 1.2% in Hobart. The higher result in Hobart was mainly due to that city recording increases in housing and recreation that were well above the national average.


The lower result in Darwin was largely due to that city recording price increases for alcohol and tobacco, transportation and recreation which were well below the national average and the lowest of all eight capital cities.


Over the twelve months to December quarter 2004, the All groups CPI rose in each of the eight capital cities. The increases ranged from 1.9% in Darwin to 3.3% in Hobart.

CPI, All groups index numbers and percentage changes

Index number(a)
Percentage change
Dec Qtr 2004
Sep Qtr 2004 to Dec Qtr 2004
Dec Qtr 2003 to Dec Qtr 2004

Sydney
147.3
0.8
2.6
Melbourne
145.3
0.8
2.3
Brisbane
148.0
0.8
2.6
Adelaide
150.0
0.7
2.6
Perth
143.3
0.9
2.9
Hobart
146.7
1.2
3.3
Darwin
141.1
0.2
1.9
Canberra
146.3
0.5
2.4
Weighted average of eight
capital cities
146.5
0.8
2.6

(a) Base of each index: 1989-90 = 100.0.



SELECTED TABLES FROM CONSUMER PRICE INDEX, AUSTRALIA (CAT. NO. 6401.0)


1 ALL GROUPS, INDEX NUMBERS(A)

ALL GROUPS, Index numbers(a)


Period
Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Adelaide
Perth
Hobart
Darwin
Canberra
Weighted average of
eight capital cities

2000-01
133.2
131.6
132.4
133.5
129.6
132.0
130.9
131.9
132.2
2001-02
137.2
135.3
136.3
137.2
133.1
134.7
133.7
135.2
136.0
2002-03
141.1
139.7
140.7
142.7
136.8
139.1
136.8
139.7
140.2
2003-04
144.1
142.8
144.8
147.0
139.6
142.6
138.7
143.4
143.5
2000
December
132.2
130.8
131.6
132.5
128.8
131.2
130.6
131.1
131.3
2001
March
134.0
132.2
132.7
134.1
129.6
132.1
130.7
132.2
132.7
June
135.0
133.0
134.0
135.1
131.4
133.4
132.2
133.4
133.8
September
135.4
133.6
134.2
135.3
131.5
132.8
132.5
133.2
134.2
December
136.6
134.8
135.8
136.6
132.6
133.9
133.5
134.9
135.4
2002
March
137.9
136.0
137.1
137.7
133.7
135.2
133.8
135.6
136.6
June
138.8
136.9
138.1
139.1
134.6
137.0
135.0
137.2
137.6
September
139.6
137.8
139.2
140.3
135.8
137.5
135.4
138.1
138.5
December
140.4
139.0
139.9
141.5
136.4
138.0
136.2
139.2
139.5
2003
March
142.1
140.9
141.8
144.6
137.4
140.0
137.5
140.7
141.3
June
142.2
140.9
141.8
144.3
137.4
140.8
137.9
140.7
141.3
September
142.4
141.8
143.3
145.4
138.6
141.1
137.8
141.9
142.1
December
143.6
142.1
144.2
146.2
139.2
142.0
138.5
142.9
142.8
2004
March
145.0
143.5
145.4
147.7
139.6
143.0
139.0
143.9
144.1
June
145.5
143.9
146.3
148.6
141.0
144.3
139.6
144.8
144.8
September
146.2
144.2
146.8
149.0
142.0
145.0
140.8
145.5
145.4
December
147.3
145.3
148.0
150.0
143.3
146.7
141.1
146.3
146.5

(a) Base of each index: 1989-90 = 100.0.


2 ALL GROUPS, PERCENTAGE CHANGES



ALL GROUPS, Percentage changes

Period
Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Adelaide
Perth
Hobart
Darwin
Canberra
Weighted average of
eight capital cities

PERCENTAGE CHANGE (from previous financial year)

2000-01
6.2
6.0
5.9
5.7
5.5
5.8
5.4
6.2
6.0
2001-02
3.0
2.8
2.9
2.8
2.7
2.0
2.1
2.5
2.9
2002-03
2.8
3.3
3.2
4.0
2.8
3.3
2.3
3.3
3.1
2003-04
2.1
2.2
2.9
3.0
2.0
2.5
1.4
2.6
2.4

PERCENTAGE CHANGE (from corresponding quarter of previous year)

2000
December
6.0
5.9
6.0
5.4
5.0
5.8
5.7
6.0
5.8
2001
March
6.5
6.0
5.7
5.8
5.3
5.4
5.1
5.8
6.0
June
6.3
5.9
6.0
5.9
6.0
5.5
5.2
6.0
6.0
September
2.9
2.5
2.2
2.3
2.3
1.1
1.9
1.9
2.5
December
3.3
3.1
3.2
3.1
3.0
2.1
2.2
2.9
3.1
2002
March
2.9
2.9
3.3
2.7
3.2
2.3
2.4
2.6
2.9
June
2.8
2.9
3.1
3.0
2.4
2.7
2.1
2.8
2.8
September
3.1
3.1
3.7
3.7
3.3
3.5
2.2
3.7
3.2
December
2.8
3.1
3.0
3.6
2.9
3.1
2.0
3.2
3.0
2003
March
3.0
3.6
3.4
5.0
2.8
3.6
2.8
3.8
3.4
June
2.4
2.9
2.7
3.7
2.1
2.8
2.1
2.6
2.7
September
2.0
2.9
2.9
3.6
2.1
2.6
1.8
2.8
2.6
December
2.3
2.2
3.1
3.3
2.1
2.9
1.7
2.7
2.4
2004
March
2.0
1.8
2.5
2.1
1.6
2.1
1.1
2.3
2.0
June
2.3
2.1
3.2
3.0
2.6
2.5
1.2
2.9
2.5
September
2.7
1.7
2.4
2.5
2.5
2.8
2.2
2.5
2.3
December
2.6
2.3
2.6
2.6
2.9
3.3
1.9
2.4
2.6

PERCENTAGE CHANGE (from previous quarter)

2000
December
0.5
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.2
-0.1
0.5
0.3
0.3
2001
March
1.4
1.1
0.8
1.2
0.6
0.7
0.1
0.8
1.1
June
0.7
0.6
1.0
0.7
1.4
1.0
1.1
0.9
0.8
September
0.3
0.5
0.1
0.1
0.1
-0.4
0.2
-0.1
0.3
December
0.9
0.9
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.8
0.8
1.3
0.9
2002
March
1.0
0.9
1.0
0.8
0.8
1.0
0.2
0.5
0.9
June
0.7
0.7
0.7
1.0
0.7
1.3
0.9
1.2
0.7
September
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
0.9
0.4
0.3
0.7
0.7
December
0.6
0.9
0.5
0.9
0.4
0.4
0.6
0.8
0.7
2003
March
1.2
1.4
1.4
2.2
0.7
1.4
1.0
1.1
1.3
June
0.1
0.0
0.0
-0.2
0.0
0.6
0.3
0.0
0.0
September
0.1
0.6
1.1
0.8
0.9
0.2
-0.1
0.9
0.6
December
0.8
0.2
0.6
0.6
0.4
0.6
0.5
0.7
0.5
2004
March
1.0
1.0
0.8
1.0
0.3
0.7
0.4
0.7
0.9
June
0.3
0.3
0.6
0.6
1.0
0.9
0.4
0.6
0.5
September
0.5
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.7
0.5
0.9
0.5
0.4
December
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.7
0.9
1.2
0.2
0.5
0.8





LONGER TERM SERIES:
CPI All Groups, Weighted Average of Eight Capital Cities, Index Numbers(a)

Quarter ending

Year
31 March
30 June
30 September
31 December

1985
68.1
69.7
71.3
72.7
1986
74.4
75.6
77.6
79.8
1987
81.4
82.6
84.0
85.5
1988
87.0
88.5
90.2
92.0
1989
92.9
95.2
97.4
99.2
1990
100.9
102.5
103.3
106.0
1991
105.8
106.0
106.6
107.6
1992
107.6
107.3
107.4
107.9
1993
108.9
109.3
109.8
110.0
1994
110.4
111.2
111.9
112.8
1995
114.7
116.2
117.6
118.5
1996
119.0
119.8
120.1
120.3
1997
120.5
120.2
119.7
120.0
1998
120.3
121.0
121.3
121.9
1999
121.8
122.3
123.4
124.1
2000
125.2
126.2
130.9
131.3
2001
132.7
133.8
134.2
135.4
2002
136.6
137.6
138.5
139.5
2003
141.3
141.3
142.1
142.8
2004
144.1
144.8
145.4
146.5

(a) Base of each index:1989-90 = 100.0



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