Consumer Price Index, Australia

Latest release

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

Reference period
December Quarter 2022
Released
25/01/2023
  • Next Release 26/04/2023
    Consumer Price Index, Australia, March Quarter 2023
  • Next Release 26/07/2023
    Consumer Price Index, Australia, June Quarter 2023
  • Next Release 25/10/2023
    Consumer Price Index, Australia, September Quarter 2023
  • View all releases

Key statistics

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.9% this quarter.

  • Over the twelve months to the December 2022 quarter, the CPI rose 7.8%.

  • The most significant price rises were Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+13.3%), Electricity (+8.6%), International holiday travel and accommodation (+7.6%) and New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+1.7%).

What's new this quarter

Main features

Weighted average of eight capital cities
 Sep Qtr 2022 to Dec Qtr 2022Dec Qtr 2021 to Dec Qtr 2022
% change% change
All groups CPI1.97.8
Food and non-alcoholic beverages0.99.2
Alcohol and tobacco1.24.4
Clothing and footwear2.65.3
Housing1.910.7
Furnishings, household equipment and services1.88.4
Health0.83.8
Transport1.78.0
Communication-0.51.3
Recreation and culture5.49.0
Education0.14.6
Insurance and financial services2.05.0
CPI analytical series
 All groups CPI, seasonally adjusted1.87.8
 Trimmed mean1.76.9
 Weighted median1.65.8

Overview

Annual CPI inflation the highest since 1990

The annual CPI movement of 7.8 per cent is the highest since 1990. The past four quarters have seen strong quarterly rises off the back of higher prices for food, automotive fuel and new dwelling construction. Trimmed mean annual inflation, which excludes large price rises and falls, increased to 6.9 per cent, the highest since the ABS first published the series in 2003.

Services annual inflation of 5.5% the highest since 2008

The services component of the CPI recorded its largest annual rise since 2008, driven by holiday travel and meals out and takeaway food. Annual inflation for goods saw little change from the previous quarter.

Rate of price growth for new dwellings starts to ease

High labour and materials costs continue to drive increases in prices for new dwellings. The rate of price growth has started to ease over recent quarters following a record annual rise in the September 2022 quarter. 

Fewer payments of government construction grants compared to the previous quarter also contributed to the rise this quarter. These grants have the effect of reducing out-of-pocket expenses for new dwelling purchases.

Rent prices continue to rise across the capital cities

Rental price growth in Sydney and Melbourne has continued to increase this quarter, with both cities recording their strongest annual rises since 2014 and 2015 respectively, reflecting a tight rental market. 

Annual growth in rent prices for the remaining capital cities continues to outpace price growth in Sydney and Melbourne, reflecting lower vacancy rates in those cities.

Grocery prices rise further, offset by fruit and vegetables

Strong price rises were seen across most food and non-food grocery products in the December quarter. These increases reflected elevated input costs for farmers and producers of packaged goods, as well as strong Christmas demand. Fruit and vegetables experienced the strongest quarterly fall since 2012, however prices remain elevated compared to 12 months ago.

Fuel prices remain high despite recent falls

Automotive fuel prices rose 2.2% in the December quarter. The Federal Government restored the full fuel-excise on 30 September, from 22 cents per litre to 46 cents per litre, which drove growth in the first two months of the quarter, before lower wholesale prices flowed through in December. For the December quarter, automotive fuel prices remain 13.2% higher compared to 12 months ago. 

Higher Discretionary inflation in the December quarter

Discretionary inflation increased 2.6% in the December quarter following higher prices for holiday travel and meals out and takeaway. The annual movement reached a new high of 7.1%, while non-discretionary inflation remained stable at 8.4%.

Main contributors to change

CPI groups


 

Food and non-alcoholic beverages group (+0.9%)

  • Meals out and take away foods rose 2.1% due to rising input costs and minimum wage increases.
  • Broad-based price rises were also seen in Food products nec (+2.7%), Dairy and related products (+4.2%) and Bread and cereal products (+3.4%).
  • Vegetables fell 10.2% due to an easing of the effects of unfavourable weather conditions earlier in 2022, with produce such as tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce returning to typical seasonal price levels.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 1.1% this quarter. Meals out and takeaway foods (+2.1%) was the main contributor.

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 9.2%. Meals out and take away foods (+7.3%) and Fruit (+12.6%) were the main contributors.

 

Alcohol and tobacco group (+1.2%)

  • Tobacco rose 1.5% due to the flow-on effects of the increase in the Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings (AWOTE) excise applied on 1 September 2022.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 0.9%. The main contributors were Beer (+1.5%) and Spirits (+2.3%).

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 4.4%. The main contributor was Tobacco (+4.7%).

Clothing and footwear group (+2.6%)

  • Garments (+2.0%) and Footwear (+5.4%) rose in response to high consumer demand. The quarterly rise was partially offset in November by promotional activity, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 2.2%. The main contributor was Garments for women (+2.8%).

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 5.3%. The main contributor was Garments for women (+5.4%).

 

Housing group (+1.9%)

  • Electricity rose 8.6% due to the unwinding of electricity rebates this quarter. Last quarter electricity costs fell in Perth and Canberra following the introduction of the Western Australian Government’s $400 household electricity credit, and the ACT Government’s $50 rebate for concession households. This quarter the effects of these rebates were largely reversed as they had less impact on households’ electricity bills. 
  • The rise this quarter was partially offset by the ongoing impact of the Queensland Government's $175 Cost of Living rebate, and the introduction of the Tasmanian Government's $119 Winter Bill Buster electricity discount for concession households.
  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers rose 1.7% due to builders passing through increased costs for labour and materials. The rate of price growth has continued to ease this quarter reflecting subdued new demand and improvements in the supply of materials. Fewer grant payments this quarter from the Federal Government's HomeBuilder program and similar state-based housing construction grants also contributed to the rise. 

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

Index, June 2020 = 100.0

  • Rents rose 1.2% this quarter with the annual rise of 4.0% the highest since 2012.
  • All capital cities contributed to the quarterly and annual rises in rents, reflecting low vacancy rates and competitive rental markets across the country. 

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 1.8%. The main contributors were Electricity (+6.9%) and New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+1.7%).

Over the past twelve months the group rose 10.7%. The main contributor to the rise was New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+17.8%).

Furnishings, household equipment and services group (+1.8%)

  • Domestic and household services rose 2.9% due to increasing wages, utilities, and supply costs for businesses.

  • Non-durable household products rose 2.3% driven by price rises in a range of products including tissues, air freshener and household cleaning products.

  • Household appliances, utensils and tools rose 1.5% due to factors including ongoing supply chain issues, high freight and raw material costs. 

In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 2.1%. The main contributor was Domestic and household services (+2.7%).

Over the past twelve months the group rose 8.4%. The main contributors to the rise were Non-durable household products (+12.0%) and Furniture and furnishings (+10.8%).

Health group (+0.8%)

  • Medical and hospital services rose 1.0% due to an increase in private health insurance premiums. Another contributor was increased gap payments for GP consultations.

In seasonally adjusted terms the group rose 2.1%. The main contributor was Medical and hospital services (+2.4%).

Over the past twelve months the group rose 3.8%. Medical & Hospital services (+4.2%) was the main contributor.

Transport group (+1.7%)

  • Automotive fuel rose 2.2%. The restoration of the Federal Government's fuel excise on 30 September flowed through to fuel prices early in the quarter. Fuel prices rose in October (+7.1%) and November (+5.6%) but fell in December (-8.1%) as wholesale prices softened. 

  • Motor vehicles rose 2.2% as manufacturers continued to pass on input cost pressures due to material shortages combined with strong demand.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 1.7%. The main contributor was Automotive fuel (+2.2%).

Over the past 12 months, the group rose 8.0%. Automotive fuel (+13.2%) and Motor vehicles (+5.0%) were the main contributors.

Communication group (-0.5%)

  • A fall of 0.5% in Telecommunication equipment and services was the main contributor.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group fell 0.1% this quarter. The main contributor was Telecommunication equipment and services (-0.1%).

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 1.3%. Telecommunication equipment and services (+1.1%) was the main contributor.

Recreation and culture group (+5.4%)

  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation rose 13.3% due to strong demand, particularly during the December school holiday period, affecting both airfares and accommodation. 
  • International holiday travel and accommodation rose 7.6% due to strong demand in the lead up to the Christmas holiday period and the number of operating flights still below pre-COVID levels resulting in large price rises.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 4.2%. Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+7.5%) was the main contributor.

Over the past twelve months the group rose 9.0%. Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+19.8%) was the main contributor.

Education group (+0.1%)

  • Pre-school and primary education (+0.4%) was the main contributor to the rise due to fee increases at some pre-schools.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 0.6% this quarter. The main contributors were Secondary education (+0.7%) and Preschool and primary education (+1.0%).

Over the past twelve months, the group rose 4.6%. Tertiary education (+6.2%) was the main contributor.

Insurance and financial services group (+2.0%)

  • The Insurance and financial services group recorded the strongest quarterly rise since 2011.
  • Other financial services (+2.1%) was the main contributor to the rise due to stamp duty and higher real estate agent fees.
  • Insurance (+2.5%) rose across house, house contents and motor vehicle insurance. This was the strongest quarterly rise since 2016.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the group rose 2.0%. Other financial services (+2.1%) was the main contributor to the rise. 

Over the past twelve months the group rose 5.0%. Other financial services (+5.4%) was the main contributor to the rise. 

International trade exposure - tradables 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 rose +1.5% due to International holiday travel and accommodation (+7.6%), Automotive fuel (+2.2%) and Motor vehicles (+2.2%).
  • Non-tradables rose +2.1% due to Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+13.3%), Electricity (+8.6%) and New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+1.7%).

In seasonally adjusted terms, the Tradables component of the All groups CPI rose 1.7% and the Non–tradables component rose 1.8%.

Discretionary and non-discretionary inflation

Non-discretionary inflation includes goods and services that households are less likely to reduce their consumption of, such as food, automotive fuel, housing and health costs. Discretionary goods and services may be considered 'optional' purchases.

  • Non-discretionary goods and services rose 1.3% in the December quarter and 8.4% annually. The rise this quarter was driven by Housing (+1.9%) and Insurance and financial services (+2.0%).
  • Discretionary goods and services rose 2.6% in the December quarter and 7.1% annually. The rise this quarter was driven by Holiday travel and accommodation (+10.9%) and Meals out and take away food (+2.1%).

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 December 2022 quarter:

  • The trimmed mean rose 1.7%, following a rise of 1.9% in the September 2022 quarter.
  • Over the past twelve months, the trimmed mean rose 6.9%, following a rise of 6.1% over the twelve months to the September 2022 quarter.
  • The weighted median rose 1.6%, following a rise of 1.4% in the September 2022 quarter.
  • Over the past twelve months, the weighted median rose 5.8%, following a rise of 4.9% over the twelve months to the September 2022 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 1.8% for the quarter.
Sep Qtr 2022 to Dec Qtr 2022 percentage change
 Original (%)Seasonally Adjusted (%)
All groups CPI1.91.8
Food and non-alcoholic beverages0.91.1
Alcohol and tobacco1.20.9
Clothing and footwear2.62.2
Housing1.91.8
Furnishings, household equipment and services1.82.1
Health0.82.1
Transport1.71.7
Communication-0.5-0.1
Recreation and culture5.44.2
Education0.10.6
Insurance and financial services2.02.0
International trade exposure series  
 Tradables1.51.7
 Non-tradables2.11.8

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 (%)
 Dec Qtr 2022Sep Qtr 2022 to Dec Qtr 2022Dec Qtr 2021 to Dec Qtr 2022
Sydney130.91.87.6
Melbourne131.11.68.0
Brisbane132.11.57.7
Adelaide130.81.78.6
Perth129.33.68.3
Hobart132.41.57.7
Darwin126.60.97.1
Canberra129.51.27.1
Weighted average of eight capital cities130.81.97.8

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

Capital city highlights:

At the All groups level, the CPI rose in all eight capital cities, ranging from 0.9% in Darwin to 3.6% in Perth.

 

Sydney (+1.8%)

  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+13.0%). The end of the accommodation voucher schemes offered by the New South Wales Government also contributed to the rise, as these vouchers had the effect of reducing out-of-pocket costs for consumers in previous quarters.
  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+1.7%).
  • International holiday travel and accommodation (+7.6%).
  • Other financial services (+2.5%).
  • Child care (+8.0%) rose due to reduced uptake of the New South Wales Government's before- and after-school care vouchers resulted in higher out-of-pocket costs for families in Sydney.
  • Vegetables (-11.1%).

Sydney recorded an annual rise of 7.6%.
 

Melbourne (+1.6%)

  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+15.5%).
  • International holiday travel and accommodation (+8.8%).
  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+1.5%).
  • Other financial services (+1.9%).
  • Vegetables (-10.8%).

Melbourne recorded an annual rise of 8.0%.

Brisbane (+1.5%)

  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+11.5%).
  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+1.7%).
  • Automotive fuel (+3.2%).
  • International holiday travel and accommodation (+6.2%).
  • Electricity (-14.0%) due to the ongoing impact of the Queensland Government's $175 Cost of Living Rebate introduced last quarter.
  • Vegetables (-9.4%).
  • Water and sewerage (-10.9%) due to the $55 Water Bill Discount introduced by the Queensland Government from November.

Brisbane recorded an annual rise of 7.7%. 

Adelaide (+1.7%)

  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+14.2%).
  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+2.6%).
  • Automotive fuel (+4.5%).
  • Vegetables (-10.4%).

Adelaide recorded an annual rise of 8.6%.

Perth (+3.6%)

Perth recorded the largest rise out of all the capital cities.

  • Electricity (+527.2%) rose due to electricity costs for most households returning to normal levels, as the impact of the Western Australian Government’s $400 Household Electricity Credit introduced in the previous quarter lessened.
  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+11.8%). 
  • Automotive fuel (+3.5%).
  • International holiday travel and accommodation (+6.7%).
  • Vegetables (-6.9%).
  • Fruit (-7.1%).

Perth recorded an annual rise of 8.3%.

Hobart (+1.5%)

  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+22.5%).
  • International holiday travel and accommodation (+10.9%).
  • New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers (+2.2%).
  • Electricity (-7.3%) due to the introduction of the Tasmanian Government’s $119 Winter Bill Buster electricity discount for concession households.
  • Vegetables (-8.9%).

Hobart recorded an annual rise of 7.7%.

Darwin (+0.9%)

Darwin recorded the smallest rise of all capital cities.

  • International holiday travel and accommodation (+7.5%).
  • Spare parts and accessories (+5.3%).
  • Vegetables (-11.4%).
  • Automotive fuel (-2.3%).
  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (-1.1%). 

Darwin recorded an annual rise of 7.1%.

 

Canberra (+1.2%)

  • International holiday travel and accommodation (+12.1%).
  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+7.1%).
  • Other financial services (+4.4%).
  • Vegetables (-10.4%).
  • Automotive fuel (-3.1%).

Canberra recorded an annual rise of 7.1%.

 

Quarterly percentage change by capital city
GroupSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
All groups1.81.61.51.73.61.50.91.21.9
Food & non-alcoholic beverages0.81.01.11.00.70.7-0.10.80.9
Alcohol & tobacco1.11.31.21.21.30.91.30.81.2
Clothing & footwear2.82.32.61.33.02.63.11.92.6
Housing1.30.9-0.41.411.60.00.70.61.9
Furnishings, household equipment and services1.71.41.91.62.51.31.21.31.8
Health1.10.61.10.90.10.81.30.50.8
Transport2.01.32.12.31.90.30.5-0.61.7
Communication-0.5-0.4-0.4-0.4-0.5-0.5-0.4-0.5-0.5
Recreation & culture5.66.14.95.04.67.22.24.75.4
Education0.20.10.20.10.00.00.10.10.1
Insurance & financial services2.61.71.42.01.72.41.03.62.0

Selected tables - capital cities

All groups CPI, index numbers(a)

All groups CPI, Index numbers(a)
PeriodSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
2022 December130.9131.1132.1130.8129.3132.4126.6129.5130.8
2022 September128.6129.0130.2128.6124.8130.5125.5128.0128.4
2022 June125.7126.4127.9125.3125.4127.6123.2125.6126.1
2022 March123.7124.2125.3122.7123.3125.4120.7123.6123.9
2021 December121.6121.4122.6120.4119.4122.9118.2120.9121.3
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
2021-22122.8123.0124.1121.8121.5124.0119.9122.5122.8
2020-21118.2118.3117.8116.8114.6118.2113.1116.8117.5
2019-20116.4116.6115.4115.1112.8116.1110.9114.4115.7

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
2021-223.94.05.44.26.05.06.04.84.4
2020-211.51.42.11.51.61.82.02.11.6
2019-201.01.71.21.81.32.40.21.21.3
Percentage change (from corresponding quarter of previous year)
PeriodSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
2022 December7.68.07.78.68.37.77.17.17.8
2022 September7.07.47.98.46.08.67.06.97.3
2022 June5.36.17.36.47.46.56.66.36.1
2022 March4.44.56.04.77.65.85.55.45.1
2021 December3.12.54.33.35.74.56.04.03.5
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
Percentage change (from previous quarter)
PeriodSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinCanberraWeighted average of eight capital cities
2022 December1.81.61.51.73.61.50.91.21.9
2022 September2.32.11.82.6-0.52.31.91.91.8
2022 June1.61.82.12.11.71.82.11.61.8
2022 March1.72.32.21.93.32.02.12.22.1
2021 December1.21.11.61.51.42.20.81.01.3
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

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.
2022123.9126.1128.4130.8
2021117.9118.8119.7121.3
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)

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Measuring Rents in the CPI

New data source:

  • As outlined in the ABS’ information paper Introducing a monthly CPI indicator for Australia, from July 2022 the ABS has incorporated a new data source to measure the Rents series in the monthly CPI indicator and the quarterly CPI.
  • The Rents series prior to July 2022 was measured on a quarterly basis using a survey of approximately 4,000 rental properties collected directly from real estate agents.
  • The new dataset obtained by the ABS is updated monthly and includes approximately 480,000 rental properties that are used to produce the CPI Rents series across all capital cities.

What the CPI Rents series measures:

  • The CPI measures the prices being paid by households for the goods and services that they consume during a particular measurement period (e.g. month or quarter).  In the case of rents, this means that the CPI measures the current ‘price’ being paid by all types of households that rent including new and existing renters who are renting privately or from the government.  
  • Measures of rental inflation that are based on newly advertised rental properties only measure changes in the asking or advertised price of rental properties for new tenancies. At any given time, newly advertised tenancies represent a relatively small proportion of properties being rented in Australia. The Rents series used for the CPI measures actual rents paid rather than advertised prices.
  • Advertised rents tend to reflect the dynamic end of the rental market where the price change for new tenancies can be more volatile than that being experienced by renters with existing tenancy agreements.
  • Price changes observed in advertised rents series are expected to eventually flow through to the CPI Rents series. However, the small share of rental properties leased to new tenants each quarter means that it takes some time for changes in advertised rents to impact price change observed in the CPI Rents series.
  • A useful analogy is to think about a bathtub of water. The water in the tub represents all rents being paid by households, while the water entering the tub from the tap represents new rental agreements. The CPI series is measuring the overall temperature of the bathtub whereas an advertised rents series measures the temperature of the water flowing into the tub. It will take some time for the flow of water to change the overall temperature of the water in the bathtub.

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 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 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.

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