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6467.0 - Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Sep 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2011   
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SEPTEMBER KEY FIGURES

Weighted average of eight capital cities
Jun Qtr 2011 to Sep Qtr 2011 % change
Sep Qtr 2010 to Sep Qtr 2011 % change

Food and non-alcoholic beverages
-0.4
7.0
Alcohol and tobacco
0.8
4.0
Clothing and footwear
1.3
0.5
Housing
2.9
5.7
Furnishings, household equipment and services
0.3
-0.7
Health
-2.6
3.2
Transport
0.0
6.0
Communication
0.0
0.6
Recreation and culture
0.6
-0.2
Education
0.1
5.6
Insurance and financial services
0.6
5.7
All groups
0.6
4.1


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

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




SEPTEMBER KEY POINTS


THE ALL GROUPS PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX (PBLCI)
  • rose 0.6% for the September quarter 2011, compared with a rise of 0.9% in the June quarter 2011.
  • showed the same rise for the September quarter 2011 as the CPI (+0.6%).
  • rose 4.1% through the year to the September quarter 2011, compared to a through the year rise of 4.5% to the June quarter 2011.
  • showed a larger rise through the year to the September quarter 2011 than the CPI (+3.5%).


OVERVIEW OF PBLCI MOVEMENTS
  • The most significant price rises this quarter were for housing (+2.9%).
  • Health (-2.6%) provided the most significant offsetting price fall this quarter.


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
December 2011 1 February 2012
March 2012 2 May 2012
June 2012 1 August 2012
September 2012 31 October 2012



CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

This issue incorporates the changes introduced into the September quarter 2011 Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0), which included an updated weighting pattern and a new commodity classification. For more details on the changes resulting from the introduction of the 16th Series CPI, refer to Information Paper: Introduction of the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index, 2011 (cat. no. 6470.0).

As a result of these changes to the CPI, there are changes to the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), including updated weighting patterns. For more details on the new weighting patterns and a comparison of the previous and current weights, refer to Analytical Living Cost Indexes and Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index: 16th Series Weighting Patterns, 2011 (cat. no. 6472.0).

The main changes that have been incorporated in the September quarter 2011 PBLCI publication are:
  • new household expenditure weights derived from the 2009-10 Household Expenditure Survey (HES) and other data sources. The new PBLCI weighting patterns can be found in Analytical Living Cost Indexes and Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index: 16th Series Weighting Patterns, 2011 (cat. no. 6472.0);
  • the coverage of the expenditure weights for the PBLCI households (age pensioner households and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits) have changed, thus improving the alignment and scope of the price collection and expenditure estimates leading to improved overall estimates. The expenditure weights for the PBLCI households have changed from using state/territory expenditures to capital city level expenditures, consistent with the approach used for the CPI. The 2009-10 HES included additional sampling of age pensioners and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits. Analysis of the results of the 2009-10 HES for these households showed that the expenditure weights at the capital city level were sufficiently reliable;
  • the CPI Commodity Classification (CPICC) used to categorise the goods and services in the CPI, and subsequently the PBLCI, has been updated to ensure it reflects contemporary wording and groupings. To enable greater international comparability, the classification has been aligned to the United Nations Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP) where possible. Consequently, there has been considerable re-naming and some re-ordering of the items in the classification. A detailed list of changes to the CPICC, including tables showing correspondences between the 15th and 16th series commodity classifications can be found in Consumer Price Index Commodity Classification, Australia, 16th Series, 2011 (cat. no. 6401.0.55.004);
  • the PBLCI has changed from being derived by combining two existing Analytical Living Cost Indexes - age pensioner and other government transfer recipients households - to being sourced directly from CPI movements, except for mortgage interest changes, consumer credit and gross insurance charges which are not included in the CPI for conceptual reasons;
  • due to the introduction of the 16th Series CPI, estimates of points contribution to All Groups are only available from the June quarter 2011. As a result, it is impossible to calculate changes to the points contribution to All Groups from September quarter 2010 to the September quarter 2011. As a result , the following tables have been suspended temporarily:
    • Table 6: Points contribution to annual change, index points, and
    • Table 7: Contribution to total index, Commodity group, index points.
  • previously published estimates of the points contribution of the commodity groups to the change in the All groups index for the June quarter 2011 (Table 4) have been revised, due to the application of the new household expenditure weights.


FUTURE CHANGES

From the December quarter 2011, the release date of this publication will be brought forward. The Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index will generally be released on the first Wednesday following the release of Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0). The December quarter 2011 issue of this publication is scheduled for release on Wednesday 1 February 2012.

The June quarter 2012 issue of this product will be its last issue in this format. From the September quarter 2012 issue (scheduled for release on 31 October 2012), statistics on the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (cat. no. 6467.0) and the Analytical Living Cost Indexes for Selected Australian Household Types (cat. no. 6463.0) will be amalgamated into a single product Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia (cat. no. 6467.0).


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 September quarter 2011 the PBLCI rose 0.6%. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.6% over the same period.

Since the PBLCI series began in June quarter 2007 it has risen 16.9% to the September quarter 2011, compared to 13.9% 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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