6401.0 - Consumer Price Index, Australia, Mar 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/04/2011   
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27 April, 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (CANBERRA TIME)
ABS CPI March Quarter 2011 up 1.6%
The ABS Consumer Price Index rose 1.6% in the March quarter 2011, compared with a rise of 0.4% in the December quarter 2010. This is the largest quarterly rise in the CPI since June quarter 2006 when the CPI increased 1.6%.

The most significant price rises this quarter were for automotive fuel (+8.8%), vegetables (+16.0%), deposit and loan facilities (+4.6%), fruit (+14.5%) and pharmaceuticals (+12.5%). The most significant offsetting price falls were for furniture (–6.2%), audio, visual and computing equipment (–7.2%), milk (–6.2%), overseas holiday travel and accommodation (–1.6%) and motor vehicles (–0.5%).

Fruit prices increased by 14.5% in the March quarter 2011 mainly due to an increase of approximately 100% in the price of bananas during the March quarter 2011 due to shortages following floods and Cyclone Yasi. Vegetable prices increased by 16.0% in the March quarter 2011, driven by price rises in cauliflowers, broccoli, lettuce, pumpkin and potatoes due to damage to crops as well as the usual seasonal price rises.

The ABS Consumer Price Index rose 3.3% through the year to March quarter 2011, compared with a rise of 2.7% through the year to December quarter 2010.

Further information is available in Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat no. 6401.0)

The ABS recently completed an extensive review of the CPI and has announced change to ensure the CPI continues to meet requirements of the Australian community. The 16th series CPI will be introduced from the September quarter 2011. For more details about changes to the CPI, please refer to Information Paper: Outcome of the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index Review (cat. no. 6469.0), or www.abs.gov.au.

Media notes:
  • ABS price index compilation methodologies and quality assurance processes have ensured that any impact of the floods and cyclone on consumer prices is reflected in the data included in the CPI publication. See the section Impact of the floods and Cyclone Yasi for details.
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.