Prices are a key factor in the operation of an economy. Price indexes, which provide summary measures of the movements in various categories of prices, are used extensively to analyse and monitor price behaviour and to adjust government payments such as pensions.
This chapter provides an outline of the consumer price index, the major producer price indexes and the international trade price indexes, their history and their underlying concepts and methodology. More detailed information is contained in the source publications referred to throughout the chapter and in the Bibliography.
Another major price index produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the wage cost index, is described in Chapter 6 Labour, while established house and project home price indexes are described in Chapter 8 Housing.
The chapter contains two articles; History of retail/consumer prices indexes in Australia and Price impacts on the living costs of selected Australian household types.