ABS marks 75 years of producing the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Media Statement

I’m proud to mark 2023 as the 75ᵗʰ year milestone of the Consumer Price Index as the official measure of inflation in Australia. As we look back on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) role in capturing price and inflation data, we are releasing an article exploring the historical evolution of inflation in Australia and the CPI, in What changes in prices and their collection tell us about Australia.

We began collecting information on prices of goods and services in 1901, which continued to evolve into the first Consumer Price Index published in 1960, with prices backcast to 1948. The CPI, as it came to be abbreviated, tracks a ‘basket of goods and services’ representative of average household spending and has been regularly updated throughout the last 75 years

The ABS plays a leading role in measuring our economy, and with Australia experiencing both a global pandemic and cost of living pressures in the past few years, it has never been more important to measure and track inflation across the country.  In 2022, the ABS expanded its quarterly CPI publication to also offer a monthly CPI indicator, delivering updated information on price movements every month, informing monetary and fiscal policy decisions with an impact on all Australians.

Over many decades the ABS has produced and evolved the CPI data, and the future will be no different. We are currently undertaking a program of work to modernise our prices IT systems and increase the frequency of prices data collection. This program will deliver a complete monthly measure of the CPI by the end of 2025, ensuring that important decisions with an impact on all Australians are informed by even more reliable and timely statistics.


Dr David Gruen
Australian Statistician
29 November 2023

Back to top of the page