CPI rose 1.6 per cent in the September 2020 quarter

Media Release

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.6 per cent in the September 2020 quarter, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The September quarter rise followed a record fall of 1.9 per cent in the June 2020 quarter when child care was free and petrol prices fell 20 per cent.

Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS Andrew Tomadini said: "In the September quarter child care fees returned to their pre-COVID-19 rate having been free during the June quarter. This was the largest contributor to the CPI rise in the September quarter. Excluding the impact of child care, the CPI would have risen 0.7 per cent.

"Significant rises were also recorded in the September quarter for automotive fuel (9.4 per cent) following a rebound in world oil prices, and pre-school and primary education (11.1 per cent), with before and after school care no longer being free."

Other notable increases in the September quarter included furniture (6.4 per cent), major appliances (5.3 per cent) and small appliances (5.8 per cent). Mr Tomadini said: "Strong demand and supply shortages led to price rises and less discounting for many household durable goods."

Measures of underlying inflation were less impacted by the rise for child care and automotive fuel, with the Trimmed mean (+0.4 per cent) and Weighted median (+0.3 per cent) both recording a lower quarterly movement than the CPI. 

Mr Tomadini said: "Annual inflation returned to positive territory rising 0.7 per cent in the September quarter. This followed negative annual inflation for only the third time in the 72-year history of the CPI of 0.3 per cent in the June quarter."

In response to COVID-19 the ABS published an article on the impact on the measurement of the CPI in an article titled Measuring the CPI: September quarter update. The ABS has also published two additional pieces with the September quarter CPI release: CPI exclusion-based measures and Underlying inflation measures.

Media notes

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