The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an important economic indicator. It provides a general measure of changes in prices of consumer goods and services purchased by Australian households. The CPI is used for a variety of purposes, such as in the development and analysis of government economic policy, the adjustment of wages and pensions and in individual contracts. Because of this, the CPI directly or indirectly affects all Australians.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a broad overview of the CPI; how to use the CPI; and how the CPI is calculated. It takes into account changes made with the introduction of the 15th series CPI in the September quarter 2005 and is suitable for general users. The guide also contains Appendixes detailing the structure of the 15th series CPI, as well as the types of items which are priced in the index.