Monthly CPI indicator rose 3.6% in the year to April 2024

Media Release

The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator rose 3.6 per cent in the 12 months to April 2024, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, said: “Annual inflation increased to 3.6 per cent this month, up from 3.5 per cent in March. Inflation has been relatively stable over the past five months, although this is the second month in a row where annual inflation has had a small increase.”

The most significant contributors to the April annual rise were Housing (+4.9 per cent), Food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.8 per cent), Alcohol and tobacco (+6.5 per cent), and Transport (+4.2 per cent). 

"CPI inflation is often impacted by items with volatile price changes like Automotive fuel, Fruit and vegetables, and Holiday travel. It can be helpful to exclude these items from the headline CPI to provide a view of underlying inflation. 

“When excluding these volatile items from the monthly CPI indicator, the annual rise to April was steady at 4.1 per cent. Annual inflation excluding volatile items remains higher than for the monthly CPI indicator,” Ms Marquardt said.

*Volatile items are Fruit and vegetables and Automotive fuel

Housing rose 4.9 per cent in the 12 months to April, down from 5.2 per cent in March. Rents increased 7.5 per cent for the year, reflecting a tight rental market and low vacancy rates across the country. 

New dwelling prices rose 4.9 per cent over the year with builders passing higher costs for labour and materials onto the consumer. Annual price growth for new dwellings has been around 5 per cent since August 2023. 

Electricity prices rose 4.2 per cent in the 12 months to April. The introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund rebates from July 2023 has mostly offset electricity price rises from annual price reviews in July 2023 due to higher wholesale prices. 

“Excluding the rebates, Electricity prices would have risen 13.9 per cent in the 12 months to April 2024,” Ms Marquardt said.

Annual inflation for Food and non-alcoholic beverages rose to 3.8 per cent in April, up from 3.5 per cent in March. All food categories except Meat and seafood contributed to the annual rise. 

Fruit and vegetable prices have recorded their largest annual rise since April 2023. This reflects unfavourable weather conditions leading to a reduced supply of berries, bananas and vegetables, such as lettuce and broccoli. 

Transport prices rose 4.2 per cent mainly due to higher fuel prices compared to April last year. Automotive fuel rose 7.4 per cent in the 12 months to April, following an 8.1 per cent annual rise to March. 

“Fuel prices rose 2.2 per cent in April, the third consecutive monthly rise, reflecting higher wholesale fuel prices, “ Ms Marquardt said. 

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