Latest release

Consumer Price Index, Australia

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures household inflation and includes statistics about price change for categories of household expenditure

Reference period
September 2021
Released
27/10/2021
  • Next Release 25/01/2022
    Consumer Price Index, Australia, December 2021
  • Next Release 27/04/2022
    Consumer Price Index, Australia, March 2022
  • Next Release 27/07/2022
    Consumer Price Index, Australia, June 2022
  • View all releases

Key statistics

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.8% this quarter.
  • Over the twelve months to the September 2021 quarter, the CPI rose 3.0%.
  • The most significant price rise were for New dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+3.3%) and Automotive fuel (+7.1%).

What's new this quarter

  • An article was published on 12 October 2021 explaining the impact of lockdowns on the September 2021 quarter: Update to measuring the CPI in the September 2021 quarter.

  • This quarter's release includes the following article:
    Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the measurement of housing in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Selected Living Cost Indexes (SLCIs)

Main features

Weighted average of eight capital cities
 Jun Qtr 2021 to Sep Qtr 2021Sep Qtr 2020 to Sep Qtr 2021
% change% change
All groups CPI0.83.0
Food and non-alcoholic beverages0.31.3
Alcohol and tobacco-0.54.4
Clothing and footwear-3.8-3.9
Housing1.71.6
Furnishings, household equipment and services1.66.0
Health0.04.9
Transport3.210.4
Communication-0.5-1.0
Recreation and culture0.92.3
Education0.11.7
Insurance and financial services0.61.1
CPI analytical series
 All groups CPI, seasonally adjusted0.83.0
 Trimmed mean0.72.1
 Weighted median0.72.1

Overview

Trimmed mean inflation highest in over five years

Annual CPI inflation was 3.0 per cent in the September quarter, with the unwinding of free childcare in 2020 continuing to have an effect. The September quarter saw Trimmed mean inflation increase from 1.6 per cent to 2.1 per cent. The Trimmed mean and Weighted median are measures of underlying inflation which exclude large, one-off price impacts such as free childcare. Both measures recorded their first annual movements above 2 per cent since the September 2015 quarter.

Rising construction costs drive new dwelling prices

High levels of building construction activity combined with shortages of materials and supply disruptions have contributed to the largest rise in new dwelling prices since September 2000 when the GST was introduced. Government housing construction grants had a smaller impact on new dwelling prices this quarter due to fewer grant payments compared to last quarter.

Automotive fuel prices at record levels

The Automotive fuel series reached a record level in the September 2021 quarter, due to higher global oil prices amid economic recovery and supply disruptions. The national average quarterly price for unleaded petrol, which is the highest weighted fuel type within the series, neared the record high seen in the March 2014 quarter. The maximum average daily unleaded petrol price for Australia reached a record high of $1.65 per litre during the September 2021 quarter.

Durable goods in demand as price pressures rise amid supply disruptions

Strong demand and supply disruptions have put upward pressure on prices for durable goods such as furniture and motor vehicles since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two speed rental market continues across capital cities

Rents for Sydney and Melbourne fell again in the September quarter. This is the third consecutive quarterly fall for Sydney, and the second consecutive quarterly fall for Melbourne. Rents across the other capital cities continue to rise, reflecting low vacancy rates in those cities.

Main contributors to change

CPI groups


 

Food and non-alcoholic beverages group (+0.3%)

  • Restaurant meals (+1.6%) and Takeaway and fast foods (+1.3%) both rose primarily due to reduced uptake of the NSW 'Dine & Discover' and City of Melbourne 'Melbourne Money' voucher schemes compared to the June 2021 quarter.  These vouchers reduced the out-of-pocket costs for consumers, hence fewer vouchers being redeemed resulted in a price rise in the September quarter.

  • Fruit (-8.3%) partially offset the rise, due to favourable growing conditions for berries, citrus and avocados. Reduced demand for produce from the food service industry during lockdowns also resulted in increased supply and lower prices for households.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 0.5%. The main contributors were Restaurant meals (+1.6%) and Takeaway and fast foods (+1.3%).

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 1.3%. The main contributors were Restaurant meals (+2.8%), Takeaway and fast foods (+2.1%) and Beef and veal (+10.9%).

Alcohol and tobacco group (-0.5%)

  • Tobacco (-0.9%) and Alcohol (-0.3%) both fell. This was the first September quarter since 2013 without a 12.5% increase in the tobacco excise.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group fell (-1.4%). The main contributor was Tobacco (-2.4%).

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 4.4%. The main contributor was Tobacco (+9.8%).

Clothing and footwear group (-3.8%)

  • Garments fell 5.5% as retailers looked to move excess winter stock resulting from low demand during lockdowns in some capital cities.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group fell 3.5%. The main contributor was Garments (-5.0%).

Over the past twelve months, the group fell 3.9%. The main contributor was Garments for women (-10.4%).

Housing group (+1.7%)

  • New dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers rose 3.3%. This is the largest rise since the September 2000 quarter driven by substantial increases in base prices in all capital cities. Continuing strong demand for housing construction enabled builders to pass through increases in costs for both materials and labour. Government housing construction grants had a smaller impact on new dwelling prices this quarter due to fewer grant payments compared to last quarter.

  • The following graph shows the new dwellings series including and excluding government housing construction grants.

June 2020 = 100.0

  • Property rates rose 3.3%, which is the largest rise since 2016. Many councils increased rates after implementing smaller rises, rebates or rate freezes last year.
  • Rents rose 0.2% with subdued rental conditions in Sydney and Melbourne offsetting the continued strength in the other capital cities.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 1.4%.

Over the past twelve months the group rose 1.6%. The main contributor to the rise was New Dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (+3.8%).

Furnishings, household equipment and services group (+1.6%)

This group includes household goods and furnishings and services provided to households, including childcare.

  • Furniture (+3.8%) prices rose due to supply shortages and elevated demand from households.

  • Childcare (+2.1%) rose as higher fees increased out-of-pocket expenses for households.

In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 0.8%. The main contributors were Childcare (+1.4%) and Furniture (+1.4%).

Over the past twelve months the group rose 6.0%. The main contributor was Childcare due to the unwinding of free childcare introduced last year. Excluding the impact of Childcare, the group would have risen 1.3% over the past twelve months.

Health group (0.0%)

  • Medical and hospital services (+0.5%) rose due to the indexation of Medicare Benefit Schedule fees applied from July 2021. There were also general price rises for both hospital and out of hospital services, such as GPs and allied health services.

  • Pharmaceutical products offset the rise (-1.8%), due to an increase in the proportion of consumers who qualify for subsidies under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 1.0%. Medical and hospital services (+1.5%) was the main contributor.

Over the past twelve months the group rose 4.9%. Medical and hospital services (+7.1%) was the main contributor due to increases in Private Health Insurance premiums.

Transport group (+3.2%)

  • Automotive fuel rose 7.1% due to an increase in global oil prices. The Automotive fuel series reached record levels, surpassing the previous high set in the March 2014 quarter.

  • Motor vehicles rose 1.4% due to continued strength in demand combined with supply constraints such as the global semi-conductor shortage, COVID-related factory closures and shipping costs.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose (+2.9%). The main contributor was Automotive fuel (+7.1%).

Over the past twelve months the group rose 10.4%. Automotive fuel (+24.6%) and Motor vehicles (+6.2%) were the main contributors.


 

Communication group (-0.5%)

  • Telecommunication equipment and services fell 0.7%.

The group is not seasonally adjusted.

Over the past twelve months the group fell 1.0%.

Recreation and culture group (+0.9%)

  • Audio, visual and computing equipment rose 1.8%. Prices increased for goods such as TVs and computers as supply disruptions, due in part to the global semi-conductor chip shortage, were combined with elevated demand from households.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 0.6%. Audio, visual and computing equipment (+0.8%) was the main contributor.

Over the past twelve months the group rose 2.3%. Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+3.8%) was the main contributor.

Education group (+0.1%)

  • Preschool and primary education (+0.3%) was the main contributor to the rise.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 0.6% this quarter.

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 1.7%.

Insurance and financial services group (+0.6%)

  • Other financial services (+0.7%) was the main contributor to the rise.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 0.4%.

Over the past twelve months the group rose 1.1%.

International trade exposure - tradable and non-tradables

The tradables and non-tradables series measure the contribution of goods and services that are highly exposed to international trade influences (tradables), and those that are mostly influenced by domestic factors (non-tradables), to overall household inflation. Examples of tradables include automotive fuel, most food items, and clothing and footwear. Examples of non-tradables include housing and education.

Tradables (+0.8% quarter, +3.1% annual)

  • Tradable goods component rose 0.8% due to Automotive fuel (+7.1%)
  • Tradable services component fell 1.6%.

Non-tradables (+0.9% quarter, +3.2% annual)

  • Non-tradable goods component rose 1.1% due to New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+3.3%).
  • Non-tradable services component rose 0.7% due to Restaurant meals (+1.6%).

In seasonally adjusted terms, the tradables component of the All groups CPI rose 0.7% and the non-tradables component rose 0.7%.

Underlying inflation series

The Trimmed mean and the Weighted median provide measures of underlying inflation. These measures reduce the impact of irregular or temporary price changes in the CPI. For more information see Underlying Inflation Measures: Explaining the Trimmed Mean and Weighted Median.

In the September 2021 quarter:

  • The Trimmed mean rose 0.7%, following a rise of 0.5% in the June 2021 quarter.

  • Over the past twelve months to the September 2021 quarter, the Trimmed mean rose 2.1%, following a rise of 1.6% over the twelve months to the June 2021 quarter.

  • The Weighted median rose 0.7% following a rise of 0.5% in the June 2021 quarter.

  • Over the past twelve months, the Weighted median rose 2.1%, following a rise of 1.6% over the twelve months to the June 2021 quarter.

Seasonally adjusted analytical series

Seasonal adjustment is the process by which regular, calendar related effects are removed from the original series.

  • All groups CPI seasonally adjusted rose 0.8% for the quarter and 3.0% for the year.
Jun Qtr 2021 to Sep Qtr 2021 percentage change
 Original (%)Seasonally Adjusted (%)
All groups CPI0.80.8
Food and non-alcoholic beverages0.30.5
Alcohol and tobacco-0.5-1.4
Clothing and footwear-3.8-3.5
Housing1.71.4
Furnishings, household equipment and services1.60.8
Health0.01.0
Transport3.22.9
Communication(a)-0.5 
Recreation and culture0.90.6
Education0.10.6
Insurance and financial services0.60.4
International trade exposure series  
 Tradables0.80.7
 Non-tradables0.90.7

a. Not seasonally adjusted

A detailed explanation of the seasonal adjustment of the All Groups CPI and calculation of the trimmed mean and weighted median measures is available in Information Paper: Seasonal Adjustment of Consumer Price Indexes, 2011 (cat. no. 6401.0.55.003). Revisions to the seasonally adjusted estimates can be the result of the application of concurrent seasonal adjustment, described on the methodology page.

Capital cities comparison

All groups CPI

All groups CPI, All groups index numbers and percentage changes
 Index number(a)Percentage change
 Sep Qtr 2021Jun Qtr 2021 to Sep Qtr 2021Sep Qtr 2020 to Sep Qtr 2021
Sydney120.20.72.9
Melbourne120.10.82.9
Brisbane120.71.33.9
Adelaide118.60.72.5
Perth117.70.83.2
Hobart120.20.33.0
Darwin117.31.55.9
Canberra119.71.33.7
Weighted average of eight capital cities119.70.83.0

a. Index reference period: 2011-12 = 100.0.

In all capital cities:

  • Automotive fuel increased with the CPI series reaching record levels in Sydney and Melbourne and near record levels in Brisbane. The movements this quarter ranged from +6.3% in Hobart to +8.3% in Canberra.

  • New dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers rose in all capital cities except Perth, due to strong demand allowing builders to pass through increases in materials and labour costs.

  • Furniture rose due to supply shortages and elevated demand.

  • Property rates and charges rose due to council rate rises following lower than usual increases in 2020.

  • Fruit fell due to price falls in berries, citrus and avocados as plentiful supply led to lower prices for households.

Capital city highlights:

At the All groups level, the CPI rose in all eight capital cities, ranging from 0.3% in Hobart to 1.5% in Darwin. The differences across the capital cities at the All groups level were mainly due to the Housing group.

Sydney (+0.7%)

  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+2.8%).

  • Automotive fuel (+6.9%).

  • Restaurant meals (+2.5%) and Takeaway and fast foods (+2.3%) both rose due to reduced uptake of the NSW 'Dine & Discover' vouchers compared to the previous quarter.

  • Rents (-0.5%) fell due to subdued demand reflected in high vacancy rates, particularly for attached dwellings.

Sydney recorded an annual rise of 2.9%.

Melbourne (+0.8%)

  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+3.6%).
  • Automotive fuel (+7.4%).
  • Property rates and charges (+3.4%).
  • Rents (-0.3%) fell due to subdued demand reflected in high vacancy rates, particularly for attached dwellings.

Melbourne recorded an annual rise of 2.9%.

Brisbane (+1.3%)

  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+7.9%). This is the largest rise of all capital cities this quarter, due to larger base price increases and the removal of some promotional offers.

  • Automotive fuel (+7.1%).

  • Rents (+1.0%).

Brisbane recorded an annual rise of 3.9%.

Adelaide (+0.7%)

  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+4.5%).

  • Automotive fuel (+7.1%).

  • Furniture (+5.1%)

Adelaide recorded an annual rise of 2.5%.

Perth (+0.8%)

  • Electricity (+13.4%) rose due to the end of the Western Australian Government's $600 household electricity credit payments.

  • Automotive fuel (+6.8%).

  • Rents (+2.8%) rose due to strong demand reflected in low vacancy rates.

  • New dwelling purchase (-2.3%) fell due to base price rises being offset by additional promotional offers and an increase in government housing construction grant payments.

Perth recorded an annual rise of 3.2%.

Hobart (+0.3%)

Hobart recorded the smallest rise of all capital cities.

  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+4.6%).
  • Automotive fuel (+6.3%).
  • Rents (+1.8%) rose due to continued strong levels of demand reflected in low vacancy rates.
  • Electricity (-20.8%) fell due to the annual price review and the introduction of the $125 winter energy bill supplement for concession customers.

Hobart recorded an annual rise of 3.0%.

Darwin (+1.5%)

 

Darwin recorded the largest rise of all capital cities.

  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+7.8%).
  • Other financial services (+13.0%) rose due to the end of the Territory homeowner discount (THOD) on stamp duty paid.
  • Automotive fuel (+8.0%).
  • Rents (+2.8%) due to continued strong levels of demand.

Darwin recorded an annual rise of 5.9%.

 

Canberra (+1.3%)

  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+4.1%).

  • Automotive fuel (+8.3%).

  • Electricity (+11.2%) rose due to the annual price review.

  • Property rates and charges (+10.1%) rose due to annual indexation and the transition to removing stamp duty charges.

Canberra recorded an annual rise of 3.7%.

 

Quarterly percentage change by capital city
GroupSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
All groups0.70.81.30.70.80.31.51.30.8
Food & non-alcoholic beverages0.70.3-0.30.3-0.1-0.20.0-0.30.3
Alcohol & tobacco-0.8-0.3-0.9-0.4-0.20.0-0.4-0.5-0.5
Clothing & footwear-4.2-3.7-3.2-4.7-3.5-5.0-2.2-3.2-3.8
Housing1.11.53.80.91.6-0.23.53.51.7
Furnishings, household equipment and services1.61.41.81.81.60.80.91.71.6
Health0.10.0-0.20.00.10.1-0.10.80.0
Transport2.83.33.13.43.23.13.63.53.2
Communication-0.5-0.7-0.7-0.5-0.5-0.5-0.7-0.6-0.5
Recreation & culture0.80.71.31.30.91.60.21.10.9
Education0.10.10.10.10.10.00.00.10.1
Insurance & financial services0.60.40.80.70.11.07.9-1.10.6

Selected tables - capital cities

All groups CPI, index numbers(a)

All groups CPI, Index numbers(a)
PeriodSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
2021 September120.2120.1120.7118.6117.7120.2117.3119.7119.7
2021 June119.4119.1119.2117.8116.8119.8115.6118.2118.8
2021 March118.5118.8118.2117.2114.6118.5114.4117.3117.9
2020 December118.0118.4117.5116.5113.0117.6111.5116.3117.2
2020 September116.8116.7116.2115.7114.1116.7110.8115.4116.2
2020 June114.7115.7113.6114.6112.1115.6109.0112.8114.4
2020 March117.4117.8116.2115.8113.5117.2111.8115.5116.6
2019 December117.1116.9116.3115.4113.1116.7111.5115.0116.2
2019 September116.5115.9115.5114.5112.6114.7111.3114.3115.4
2019 June115.9115.3114.8113.7112.0114.1111.0113.5114.8
2019 March115.1114.7114.1113.1111.2113.4110.1113.2114.1
2018 December115.2114.6114.0113.0111.3113.6111.0113.1114.1
2018 September114.7114.0113.4112.4110.8112.2110.8112.3113.5
2018 June114.0113.8112.9112.1110.2111.5110.1111.6113.0
2018 March113.6113.3112.4111.6110.0111.1109.7111.2112.6
2017 December113.3112.3112.3111.2109.9110.3109.7110.3112.1
2017 September112.5111.5111.4110.4109.5109.2109.4109.6111.4
2017 June111.7111.0111.0109.2109.0108.9108.8108.6110.7
2020-21118.2118.3117.8116.8114.6118.2113.1116.8117.5
2019-20116.4116.6115.4115.1112.8116.1110.9114.4115.7
2018-19115.2114.7114.1113.1111.3113.3110.7113.0114.1
2017-18113.4112.7112.3111.3109.9110.5109.7110.7112.3

a. Unless otherwise specified, reference period of each index: 2011-12 = 100.0.

All groups CPI, percentage changes

Percentage change (from previous financial year)
PeriodSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
2020-211.51.42.11.51.61.82.02.11.6
2019-201.01.71.21.81.32.40.21.21.3
2018-191.71.71.61.51.32.50.92.11.6
2017-182.02.31.72.30.92.11.02.41.9
Percentage change (from corresponding quarter of previous year)
PeriodSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
2021 September2.92.93.92.53.23.05.93.73.0
2021 June4.12.94.92.84.23.66.14.83.8
2021 March0.90.81.71.21.01.12.31.61.1
2020 December0.81.31.01.0-0.10.80.01.10.9
2020 September0.30.70.61.01.31.7-0.41.00.7
2020 June-1.00.3-1.00.80.11.3-1.8-0.6-0.3
2020 March2.02.71.82.42.13.41.52.02.2
2019 December1.62.02.02.11.62.70.51.71.8
2019 September1.61.71.91.91.62.20.51.81.7
2019 June1.71.31.71.41.62.30.81.71.6
2019 March1.31.21.51.31.12.10.41.81.3
2018 December1.72.01.51.61.33.01.22.51.8
2018 September2.02.21.81.81.22.71.32.51.9
2018 June2.12.51.72.71.12.41.22.82.1
2018 March2.12.21.72.30.92.01.12.41.9
2017 December2.22.21.92.30.82.11.02.21.9
2017 September1.92.21.51.80.82.00.62.11.8
Percentage change (from previous quarter)
PeriodSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
2021 September0.70.81.30.70.80.31.51.30.8
2021 June0.80.30.80.51.91.11.00.80.8
2021 March0.40.30.60.61.40.82.60.90.6
2020 December1.01.51.10.7-1.00.80.60.80.9
2020 September1.80.92.31.01.81.01.72.31.6
2020 June-2.3-1.8-2.2-1.0-1.2-1.4-2.5-2.3-1.9
2020 March0.30.8-0.10.30.40.40.30.40.3
2019 December0.50.90.70.80.41.70.20.60.7
2019 September0.50.50.60.70.50.50.30.70.5
2019 June0.70.50.60.50.70.60.80.30.6
2019 March-0.10.10.10.1-0.1-0.2-0.80.10.0
2018 December0.40.50.50.50.51.20.20.70.5
2018 September0.60.20.40.30.50.60.60.60.4
2018 June0.40.40.40.40.20.40.40.40.4
2018 March0.30.90.10.40.10.70.00.80.4
2017 December0.70.70.80.70.41.00.30.60.6
2017 September0.70.50.41.10.50.30.60.90.6

Longer term series: all groups CPI, weighted average of eight capital cities, index numbers

 
 31 March no.30 June no.30 September no.31 December no.
2021117.9118.8119.7 
2020116.6114.4116.2117.2
2019114.1114.8115.4116.2
2018112.6113.0113.5114.1
2017110.5110.7111.4112.1
2016108.2108.6109.4110.0
2015106.8107.5108.0108.4
2014105.4105.9106.4106.6
2013102.4102.8104.0104.8
201299.9100.4101.8102.0
201198.399.299.899.8
201095.295.896.596.9
200992.592.993.894.3
200890.391.692.792.4
200786.687.788.389.1
200684.585.986.786.6
200582.182.683.483.8
200480.280.680.981.5
200378.678.679.179.5
200276.176.677.177.6
200173.974.574.775.4
200069.770.272.973.1
199967.868.168.769.1
199867.067.467.567.8
199767.166.966.666.8
199666.266.766.967.0
199563.864.765.566.0
199461.561.962.362.8
199360.660.861.161.2
199259.959.759.860.1
199158.959.059.359.9
199056.257.157.559.0
198951.753.054.255.2
198848.449.350.251.2
198745.346.046.847.6
198641.442.143.244.4
198537.938.839.740.5

a. nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

Data downloads

Time Series Spreadsheets

Data files

Article archive

Using price indexes

Price indexes in contracts

Price indexes published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provide summary measures of the movements in various categories of prices over time. They are published primarily for use in Government economic analysis. Price indexes are also often used in contracts by businesses and government to adjust payments and/or charges to take account of changes in categories of prices (Indexation Clauses).

Use of Price Indexes in Contracts that sets out a range of issues that should be taken into account by parties considering including an Indexation Clause in a contract using an ABS published price index.

Frequently asked questions

The Frequently Asked Questions page that has answers to a number of common questions to do with price indexes and the Consumer Price Index, in particular.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6401.0.