1351.0.55.017 - Research Paper: Comparing Living Costs in Australian Capital Cities, Sep 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/09/2003   
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has for many years published the Consumer Price Index, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6401.0). The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the movements in retail prices of goods and services commonly purchased by metropolitan households. Although a separate index is available for each of the eight capital cities (i.e. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra), the eight indexes cannot be used to compare price levels between the cities.
This project assesses the feasibility of using existing price data collected for the CPI to produce experimental measures of price differences between the eight capital cities (i.e. spatial price indexes). The indexes cover the year ended June 2002 and were calculated using a multilateral EKS formula. This paper seeks comments on our work so far and suggestions for improving the indexes.