1 This publication contains average prices for selected items which are included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the eight capital cities.
2 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.
3 CAUTION: The average prices in this publication are presented for the purposes of making price comparisons between the capital cities for individual items. 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.
4 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.
5 Changes in the price levels of the items in this publication may differ from those in Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0) because those indexes are 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. Details of differences in specifications are provided in footnotes to the table.
6 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).
7 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications which are available free of charge from the ABS website:
- 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).
- Consumer Price Index: 15th Series Weighting Pattern, Reissue (cat. no. 6430.0)
- Consumer Price Index: Historical Weighting Patterns 1948 to 2005 (cat. no. 6431.0)
- Analytical Living Cost Indexes for Selected Australian Households Types (cat. no 6463.0)
- Analytical Living Cost Indexes: 15 Series Weighting Pattern Sept 2005 (cat. no 6465.0)
The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Lee Taylor on Canberra (02) 6252 6251.