6401.0 - Consumer Price Index, Australia, March 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2020   
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Main contributors to change


CPI groups


Weighted average of eight capital cities, Percentage change from previous quarter
Graph: Weighted average of eight capital cities, Percentage change from previous quarter

Food and non-alcoholic beverages group (+1.9%)

  • Rises of 6.0% in fruit and vegetables and 2.0% in meat and seafood were the main contributors. Drought conditions saw price rises in fruit, vegetables, dairy, grain and cereal products in the March quarter. Bushfires increased transport costs for some fresh produce and strong export demand combined with falling supply resulted in further price rises for meat.
  • Increased spending in response to COVID-19 towards the end of the quarter saw price pressures for a range of food products due to high demand and less discounting.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 3.2%. The main contributors were meals out and take away foods (+2.3%) and meat and seafood (+5.6%).
  • In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 1.4%. The main contributors were fruit and vegetables (+3.8%) and meat and seafood (+1.6%).

Notable March quarter events impacting prices on food categories:

Sub-Group
Drought
Bushfire
International demand
COVID-19

Bread and cereal products
X
X
Meat and seafoods
X
X
X
X
Dairy and related products
X
X
Fruit and vegetables
X
X
X
Food products n.e.c.
X
X
X
Non-alcoholic beverages
X
Meals out & takeaway
X
X



Alcohol and tobacco group (+1.6%)
  • A 2.0% rise in tobacco was the main contributor.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 7.9%. The main contributor was tobacco (+17.1%).
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 2.4%. The main contributor was tobacco (+4.5%).


Clothing and footwear group (-0.7%)
  • A 2.1% fall in garments for women was the main contributor.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 2.0%. The main contributor to the rise was accessories (+3.7%) due to rises in gold and silver prices and the depreciation of the Australian Dollar.
  • In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 0.4%. The main contributor to the rise was garments for men (+1.4%).


Housing group (+0.3%)
  • A 1.3% rise in electricity was the main contributor due to price increases in Melbourne from higher wholesale costs and network charges.
  • A rise in new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+0.4%) was driven by increases to base prices and decreases in the value of promotional offers for project homes.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 0.6%.
  • In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 0.3%. The main contributors were new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+0.4%) and electricity (+1.0%).


Furnishings, household equipment and services group (+0.8%)
  • A 3.4% rise in other non-durable household products was the main contributor due to strong demand for toilet paper.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 2.2%. The main contributor was child care (+6.2%).
  • In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 1.5%. The main contributors were other non-durable household products (+3.4%) and household textiles (+6.2%).


Health group (+1.7%)
  • Rises of 5.1% in pharmaceutical products and 1.1% in medical and hospital services were the main contributors. March quarters typically see a reduction in the proportion of consumers who qualify for subsidies under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS). The safety net thresholds for both the PBS and MBS were reset on 1 January.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 2.9%. The main contributor to the rise was medical and hospital services (+3.4%) due to rises in private health insurance premiums.
  • In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 0.5%. The main contributor was medical and hospital services (+0.6%).


Transport group (-1.9%)
  • A 6.0% fall in automotive fuel was the main contributor as recent falls in world oil prices flowed through to fuel prices. Automotive fuel fell in January (-0.8%), February (-3.4%) and March (-9.3%).
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 2.6%. The main contributor was automotive fuel (+5.9%).
  • In seasonally adjusted terms the group fell 2.0%. The main contributor was automotive fuel (-6.0%).


The following graph shows the pattern of the average daily prices for unleaded petrol for the eight capital cities over the past fifteen months.


Average price of Unleaded petrol (91 Octane), cents per litre
Graph: Fuel prices

Communication group (-0.3%)
  • A 0.3% fall in telecommunication equipment and services was the main contributor.
  • Over the past twelve months the group fell -3.4%.
  • The communication group is not seasonally adjusted.


Recreation and culture group (-1.7%)
  • Falls of 3.1% in domestic holiday travel and accommodation and 3.0% international holiday travel and accommodation were the main contributors. This was due to weak demand in domestic accommodation and the winter off-peak season in Europe and America.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 1.3%. The main contributor was international holiday travel and accommodation (+2.6%).
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, the group fell by 0.5%. The main contributor was domestic holiday travel and accommodation (-1.4%).


Education group (+2.6%)
  • Rises of 3.4% in secondary education and 2.9% in preschool and primary education were the main contributors following the commencement of the new school year.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 2.7%. The main contributors were secondary education (+3.4%) and preschool and primary education (+3.6%).
  • In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 0.4%. The main contributor was preschool and primary education (+0.6%).


Insurance and financial services group (+0.7%)
  • A 0.6% rise in other financial services was the main contributor.
  • Over the past twelve months the group rose 1.6%.
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, the insurance and financial services group rose 0.7%. The main contributor was other financial services (+0.6%).


International trade exposure - tradable and non-tradables

Tradables (-0.2% quarter, +2.1% annual):
  • Tradable goods component rose 0.2% mainly due to vegetables (+9.1%). Fuel was the only offsetting movement with a 6.0% fall.
  • Tradable services component fell 2.9% mainly due to international holiday travel & accommodation (-3.0%).

Non-tradables (+0.6% quarter, +2.3% annual):
  • Non-tradable goods component rose 1.2%, mainly due to tobacco products (+2.0%).
  • Non-tradable services component rose 0.4%, mainly due to secondary education (+3.4%).

In seasonally adjusted terms, the tradables component of the All groups CPI rose 0.1% and the non-tradables component rose 0.6%.


Seasonally adjusted analytical series

In the March 2020 quarter:
  • All groups CPI seasonally adjusted rose 0.4% for the quarter and 2.2% for the year.
  • Trimmed mean rose 0.5%, following a rise of 0.5% in the December 2019 quarter.
  • Over the twelve months to the March 2020 quarter, the trimmed mean rose 1.8%, following a rise of 1.6% over the twelve months to the December 2019 quarter.
  • Weighted median rose 0.5%, following a rise of 0.4% in the December 2019 quarter.
  • Over the twelve months, the weighted median rose 1.7%, following a rise of 1.3% over the twelve months to the December 2019 quarter.

ORIGINAL
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
Dec Qtr 2019 to Mar Qtr 2020
Dec Qtr 2019 to Mar Qtr 2020
%
%

All groups CPI
0.3
0.4
Food and non-alcoholic beverages
1.9
1.4
Alcohol and tobacco
1.6
2.4
Clothing and footwear
-0.7
0.4
Housing
0.3
0.3
Furnishings, household equipment and services
0.8
1.5
Health
1.7
0.5
Transport
-1.9
-2.0
Communication(a)
-0.3
-0.3
Recreation and culture
-1.7
-0.5
Education
2.6
0.4
Insurance and financial services
0.7
0.7
International trade exposure series
Tradables
-0.2
0.1
Non-tradables
0.6
0.6

(a) not seasonally adjusted

A detailed explanation of the seasonal adjustment of the All Groups CPI and calculation of the trimmed mean and weighted median measures is available in Information Paper: Seasonal Adjustment of Consumer Price Indexes, 2011 (cat. no. 6401.0.55.003) available on the ABS website. Revisions to the seasonally adjusted estimates can be the result of the application of concurrent seasonal adjustment, described in the Explanatory Notes.