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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Prices >> Producer price indexes

The producer price indexes measure changes in prices received, or paid, by producers of commodities. In Australia they generally relate to prices for goods and services as they affect businesses, for example the input and output price of goods for the manufacturing sector, the input price of materials used in the building industry and, more recently, the output price of property and business services and transport (freight) and storage services. This contrasts with the Consumer Price Index which measures changes in the retail prices paid by consumers, as explained earlier in this chapter.


Long-term price series

Table 28.7 presents a set of producer price indexes for the years 1861 to 2000-01. The indexes comprise the linked wholesale price indexes from 1861 to 1967-68, the producer price index for manufacturing outputs from 1968-69 to 1999-2000, and the final stage of production index for all commodities in 2000-01.

The first price index of this kind, compiled by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, was the Melbourne Wholesale Price Index, which was introduced in 1912 with index numbers compiled back to 1861 using prices extracted from newspapers and trade publications. Index numbers were compiled up to 1961. The index related chiefly to basic materials and foods weighted in accordance with consumption in about the year 1910.

The next index published was the Wholesale Price (Basic Materials and Foodstuffs) Index which was introduced in 1939; index numbers are available for the period 1928 to 1970. The index related to commodities in their basic or primary form, and prices were obtained as near as possible to the point where they made their first effective impact on the local price structure. With few exceptions, prices were obtained from Melbourne sources.

The present range of producer price indexes was developed and produced progressively from the 1960s. Until recently, the range of indexes was restricted to the measurement of prices for goods used in or purchased by the building industry, manufacturing industry, and (not included in this chapter) the mining industry, as well as outputs of the manufacturing industry.

As part of a long term program, the ABS is expanding the coverage of the producer price indexes to include the measurement of price changes for the output of the service industries and the construction industry (see the section Services output price indexes). In parallel with this expansion in coverage, an economy wide 'stage of production' framework has been implemented for the producer price indexes, to supplement the current industry sector approach (see the section Stage of production producer price indexes). The Stage of Production final commoditities index is now the headline producer price index.


28.7 PRODUCER AND WHOLESALE PRICE INDEXES(a)

Index no.

Melbourne Wholesale Price Index
(All groups) -
- 1861
24.2
- 1871
19.3
- 1881
17.6
- 1891
14.9
- 1901
15.3
- 1911
15.7
- 1921
30.0
- 1925-26
29.7
Wholesale Price (Basic Materials and Foodstuffs) Index (All groups) -
- 1930-31
25.4
- 1935-36
23.9
- 1940-41
29.3
- 1945-46
36.5
- 1950-51
62.7
- 1955-56
85.9
- 1960-61
92.5
- 1961-62
86.4
- 1962-63
87.4
- 1963-64
90.0
- 1964-65
91.3
- 1965-66
95.4
- 1966-67
98.4
- 1967-68
99.7
Price Index of Articles Produced by Manufacturing Industry -
- 1968-69
100.0
- 1969-70
103.9
- 1970-71
108.5
- 1971-72
113.9
- 1972-73
120.7
- 1973-74
134.6
- 1974-75
158.1
- 1975-76
177.8
- 1976-77
196.9
- 1977-78
213.8
- 1978-79
237.4
- 1979-80
274.9
- 1980-81
305.2
- 1981-82
328.9
- 1982-83
360.2
- 1983-84
382.8
- 1984-85
404.8
- 1985-86
430.3
- 1986-87
458.5
- 1987-88
492.1
- 1988-89
526.0
- 1989-90
559.9
- 1990-91
584.6
- 1991-92
586.7
- 1992-93
600.9
- 1993-94
607.3
- 1994-95
620.9
- 1995-96
636.7
- 1996-97
639.9
- 1997-98
648.3
- 1998-99
646.7
- 1999-2000
674.5
Stage of Production - Final
- 2000-01
703.4

(a) Reference base year 1968-69 = 100.0.

Source: Labour Report; Price Indexes of Articles Produced by Manufacturing Industry, Australia (6412.0); Producer Price Indexes, Australia (6427.0).


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