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Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index and CPI, All groups - Percentage change (from previous quarter)
Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index and CPI (re-referenced), index numbers
To represent households whose principle income is government pensions and benefits, the PBLCI will source the price measurements from the CPI, with some exceptions such as interest and insurance charges, and use a different weighting pattern to construct the Index. The expenditure patterns of pensioners and beneficiaries can be quite different to the CPI (which is designed to represent the household sector as a whole). For example, “food” has a higher relative weight in the PBLCI than in the CPI; however education carries a very small weight in the PBLCI. Some items from the CPI are completely excluded from the PBLCI. For example, only concession prices are selected for some health items, transport fares and telephony charges, whereas the CPI includes both concession and full price charges. It should be noted that neither the CPI or the PBLCI are indicative of a true cost of living index since, for practical reasons, they are based on a fixed basket and don't reflect the way consumers alter their purchasing habits to account for price fluctuations.
Like the CPI, the PBLCI measures changes to retail prices in capital cities. It is not designed to measure price levels; rather its purpose is to measure changes in prices over time. Although price levels in country regions often differ from those in metropolitan areas (some higher and others lower), the factors influencing price movements generally tend to be similar. Therefore the PBLCI can be expected to provide a reasonable indication of the changes in prices for the reference population in Australia as a whole in the longer term.
Further information is available in the Information Paper: Introduction of the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Australia (cat. no. 6466.0.).
For more information on the CPI, see our video tutorial 'How to Find Consumer Price Index (CPI) Data'
YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE CPI AND PBLCI
The Household Expenditure Survey (HES) is one of the most important social surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The data collected from the HES establishes the spending habits of Australian households, which is used as a starting point for selecting the 'basket of goods and services' for the CPI and the PBLCI.
The ABS is currently conducting the 2009-10 HES around Australia. The HES is designed to identify the levels and patterns of expenditure of private households on a comprehensive range of goods and services purchased for private use. The HES also determines how these levels and patterns vary according to income levels and other characteristics of households, such as size and composition, location and principal source of cash income.
This information is used to update the weighting pattern of the Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0) and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (cat. no. 6467.0)
For more information about HES and participation in other ABS Surveys, see the Current Household Surveys program.
LIST OF PREVIOUS FEATURE ARTICLES
Diagnosing Data Quality: How Healthy are your Datasets? - June 2009
Towards 2011: Gearing up for the next Census - March 2009
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