1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/07/2008   
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Perth's Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose for three consecutive quarters, from 0.6% in the September quarter 2007 to 1.4% in the March quarter 2008. Perth's current quarter price rise is slightly higher than the national CPI rise of 1.3%. The main driver of Perth's CPI rise in the March quarter 2008 was automotive fuel (up 6.6%). Other significant contributors included rents (up 3.4%), pharmaceuticals (up 11.9%), vegetables (up 6.6%) and fruit (up 6.2%). Partially offsetting those rises were furniture (down 5.4%), audio, visual and computing equipment (down 5.8%) and men's outerwear (down 6.5%).

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (ALL GROUPS), Change from same quarter previous year
Graph: CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (ALL GROUPS), Change from same quarter previous year

For the year to March quarter 2008, the CPI for Perth rose 4.3%, following rises of 2.6% for the year to September quarter 2007 and 3.0% for the year to December quarter 2007. Perth's year to March quarter 2008 CPI rise of 4.3% was the fourth lowest among Australian capital cities, with Brisbane (4.8%) recording the highest CPI rise. The main contributors to Perth's annual price growth were automotive fuel (up 17.6%), rents (up 12.1%) and deposit and loan facilities (7.3%). Nationally, the CPI rose 4.2% through the year to March quarter 2008, higher than the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) medium-term target range of 2-3 percent for inflation, which led to an increase in official interest rates of 25 basis points (to 7.25%) in March 2008.


Western Australia's Wage Price Index (WPI) of total hourly rates of pay (excluding bonuses) for all sectors rose 1.0% in the March quarter 2008, lower than the two previous rates of 1.8% and 1.3% recorded in the September and December quarters of 2007 respectively. In the current quarter, private sector wage prices rose 1.0%, which was higher than the public sector's wage growth of 0.8%. Western Australia's WPI growth of 1.0% was equal highest with New South Wales and Victoria and was above the Australian WPI rise of 0.9%.

WAGE PRICE INDEX, Change from same quarter previous year
Graph: WAGE PRICE INDEX, Change from same quarter previous year

Through the year to March quarter 2008, Western Australia all sectors' WPI grew by 5.9%, a rate that is the same as the previous year. This through the year change remains the highest WPI growth since the series began in the September quarter of 1997 and is higher than other states and territories, with South Australia showing the next highest growth of 4.6%, followed by Queensland (4.1%). At the Australian level, WPI growth rose by 4.1% through the year to March quarter 2008.

Between the quarters of March 2007 and 2008, Western Australia recorded strong wage growth in the industries of Mining (7.8%), Manufacturing (6.6%), Construction and Personal and other services (both 6.2%). In contrast, Retail trade (4.5%) and Education (4.6%) showed low growth. From an occupation perspective, wage prices growth was strong for Tradespersons and related workers ( 7.9%), Intermediate production and transport workers (6.6%) and Associate professionals ( 6.0%), while Elementary clerical, sales and services workers (4.2%) and Managers and administrators (5.1%) showed weaker growth over the same annual period.