1 ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
March 2008 30 April 2008
2 For further information about these and related statistics, contact Lee Taylor on Canberra (02) 6252 6251 or the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
3 This publication contains average prices for selected items which are included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the eight capital cities.
4 The CPI covers a wide range of goods and services arranged in eleven groups which are in turn divided into subgroups. The items for which average prices are shown in this publication comprise a selection of items from the CPI food group and the following non-food subgroups: household supplies; sport and other recreation; private motoring; and alcoholic drinks.
5 CAUTION: The average prices in this publication are presented for the purposes of making price comparisons between the capital cities for individual items at a point in time. It is not appropriate to add together these items as no supporting information is provided on the relative importance of the items in the spending patterns of the households in each city. It is also not appropriate to compare item prices over time as the specifications and quality of items actually priced vary from period to period. Comparisons over time of prices for the range of products consumed by households are provided by the CPI. The CPI is not designed to measure price levels. Rather its purpose is to measure changes in prices over time, whether it be for specific items, a particular city, or the economy as a whole.
6 Prices shown are the averages of prices for a range of specified grades, qualities, brands, etc. charged by a number of selected retailers in each city. The items and the retailers have been selected as representative to measure price change over time rather than to measure the average prices of all retail sales of these items in each of the 8 capital cities. Therefore they should be regarded as no more than approximate indicators of price levels for the items concerned. Furthermore, the selected grades, brands, package size, etc. for some items differ between cities and may also differ from one period to the next due to changes in product specifications. For example, potatoes may be priced as washed or brushed, loose or bagged, depending on what is most representative for a particular city. Thus the average prices for some items may not be completely comparable from city to city, nor from quarter to quarter.
7 Changes in the average price levels of the items in this publication will differ from those in CPI, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0) because the CPI is adjusted to take account of changes in the quality of the items priced; no such adjustment is made to the price levels presented in this publication.
8 Changes in the average price levels of the items in this publication are also effected by changes made to the CPI samples to ensure representatively. For example, when sales data identifies a change in the mix of generic and branded products purchased by consumers, the CPI sample is adjusted accordingly. In a scenario where the mix of generic products increases this will lower the average price presented in the publication (as generic brands are often cheaper).
9 Each month prices are collected at regular intervals for milk, butter, bread, fresh meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, margarine, petrol and alcohol and are averaged to obtain quarterly prices. Prices for all other items included in this publication are collected during the mid month of each quarter (i.e. in August, November, February and May).
10 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications:
- Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0)
- A Guide to the Consumer Price Index, 15th Series (cat. no. 6440.0)
- Australian Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6461.0).
Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products
(cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or this site. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead