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6403.0.55.001 - Average Retail Prices of Selected Items, Eight Capital Cities, Dec 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/01/2008   
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NOTES

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ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
March 2008 30 April 2008
June 2008 30 July 2008



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SUMMARY COMMENTARY


CAT. NO. 6403.0.55.001 AVERAGE RETAIL PRICES OF SELECTED ITEMS: EIGHT CAPITAL CITIES

CAUTION: The average prices in this publication are presented for the purposes of making price comparisons between the capital cities for individual items at a point in time. It is not appropriate to add together these items as no supporting information is provided on the relative importance of the items in the spending patterns of the households in each city. It is also not appropriate to compare item prices over time as the specifications and quality of items actually priced vary from period to period. Users wanting comparisons over time of prices for the range of products consumed by households should use the CPI. Although the CPI is not designed to measure price levels, its purpose is to measure changes in prices over time, whether it be for specific items, a particular city, or the economy as a whole.

This data cube contains average retail prices of selected items included in the Consumer Price Index for each of the six State capitals, Canberra and Darwin. The CPI covers a wide range of goods and services arranged in eleven groups which are in turn divided into subgroups. The items for which average prices are shown in this publication comprise a selection of items from the CPI food group and the following non-food subgroups: household supplies; sport and other recreation; private motoring; and alcoholic drinks.

These average retail prices of selected items should be regarded as no more than approximate indicators of price levels for the items concerned as the selected grades, brands, package size, etc. for some items differ between cities and may also differ from one period to the next due to changes in product specifications. For example, potatoes may be priced as washed or brushed, loose or bagged, depending on what is most representative for a particular city. Thus the average prices for some items may not be fully comparable from city to city (see the explanatory notes for more information).

Prices shown here are the averages of prices for a range of specified grades, qualities, brands, etc. charged by a number of selected retailers in each city. The items and the retailers have been selected as representative to measure price change over time in the CPI rather than a spatial price measure. Furthermore, the selected grades, brands, package size, etc. for some items differ between cities and may also differ from one period to the next due to changes in product specifications. For example, potatoes may be priced as washed or brushed, loose or bagged, depending on what is most representative for the CPI measure in a particular city.

The ABS will assist users of this data by releasing information outlining the methods used to compile the data presented here and issues in interpreting the prices. It will also set out ABS plans to produce a Spatial Price Index. A spatial price index provides a superior methodology for providing price comparisons between cities. This information will be provided for the March quarter 2008 release of these data.


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