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6467.0 - Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Mar 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/05/2011   
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MARCH KEY FIGURES

Weighted average of eight capital cities
Dec Qtr 2010 to Mar Qtr 2011 % change
Mar 2010 to Mar Qtr 2011 % change

Food
3.3
4.7
Alcohol and tobacco
1.3
15.1
Clothing and footwear
-1.1
-1.7
Housing
1.7
6.1
Household contents and services
-1.3
-0.5
Health
6.7
3.6
Transportation
3.6
4.3
Communication
0.1
0.0
Recreation
-0.6
-1.3
Education
5.5
5.6
Financial and insurance services
2.4
10.1
All groups
1.9
4.6


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

PBLCI - All Groups, Contribution to quarterly change - March Quarter 2011
Graph: PBLCI - All Groups, Contribution to quarterly change—March Quarter 2011




MARCH KEY POINTS


THE ALL GROUPS PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX (PBLCI)
  • rose 1.9% for the March quarter 2011, compared with a rise of 0.7% in the December quarter 2011.
  • showed a larger increase for the March quarter 2011 than the CPI (+1.6%).
  • rose 4.6% through the year to March quarter 2011, compared to a through the year rise of 4.0% to December quarter 2010.
  • showed a larger increase through the year to March quarter 2011 than the CPI (+3.3%).


OVERVIEW OF PBLCI MOVEMENTS
  • The most significant price rises this quarter were for food (+3.3%), transportation (+3.6%), housing (+1.7%) and health (+6.7%).
  • The most significant offsetting price falls this quarter were for household contents and services (-1.3%), clothing and footwear (-1.1%) and recreation (-0.6%).


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
June 2011 15 August 2011
September 2011 14 November 2011
December 2011 1 February 2012
March 2012 2 May 2012



OUTCOME OF THE 16TH SERIES CPI REVIEW

The ABS recently completed an extensive review of its CPI and has announced changes including the continued quarterly publication of the outlays based Pensioner & Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI). The weighting pattern used in the PBLCI will be updated from the September quarter 2011. For more details about changes to the PBLCI and the CPI, please refer to Information Paper: Outcome of the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index Review (cat. no. 6469.0), or www.abs.gov.au.


IMPACT OF THE FLOODS AND CYCLONE YASI

ABS price index compilation methodologies and quality assurance processes have ensured that any impact of the floods and cyclone on consumer prices is reflected in the data included in this publication. For further information see the section Impact of the floods and Cyclone Yasi within Consumer Price Index, Australia, March quarter 2011 (cat. no. 6401.0) for details.


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 2011 the PBLCI increased by 1.9%. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.6% over the same period.

Since the PBLCI series began in June quarter 2007 it has risen 15.2%, compared to 12.2% 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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