Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator

Latest release

The monthly CPI indicator is a measure of inflation and includes statistics about prices for categories of households expenditure

Reference period
December 2023
Released
31/01/2024
  • Next Release 28/02/2024
    Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator, January 2024
  • Next Release 27/03/2024
    Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator, February 2024
  • Next Release 24/04/2024
    Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator, March 2024
  • View all releases

Key statistics

  • The monthly CPI indicator rose 3.4% in the 12 months to December.
  • The most significant price rises were Housing (+5.2%), Food and non-alcoholic beverages (+4.0%), Alcohol and tobacco (+6.8%) and Insurance and financial services (+8.2%).

What's new this month

Update to the CPI weights next month

The CPI weights are updated each year to ensure the weights used in the CPI basket reflect contemporary household spending patterns. Previously the weights have been updated in October. Starting from 2024, the CPI weights will be updated in January each year. The updated CPI weights will be published at the same time as the January Monthly CPI indicator release on 28 February 2024.

Main features

Weighted average of eight capital cities, annual movement
 Oct 22 to Oct 23 % changeNov 22 to Nov 23 % changeDec 22 to Dec 23 % change
All groups monthly CPI4.94.33.4
Food and non-alcoholic beverages5.34.64.0
 Bread and cereal products8.58.37.7
 Meat and seafood1.80.2-1.9
 Dairy and related products7.86.15.2
 Fruit and vegetables1.00.7-2.2
 Food products n.e.c.6.26.66.8
 Non-alcoholic beverages3.45.47.1
Alcohol and tobacco6.66.46.8
 Alcohol4.54.24.6
 Tobacco10.410.510.8
Clothing and footwear-1.5-0.9-0.8
 Garments-1.7-0.4-0.4
Housing6.16.65.2
 Rents6.67.17.4
 New dwelling purchases by owner-occupiers4.75.55.1
 Electricity10.110.70.4
 Gas and other household fuels13.012.98.5
Furnishings, household equipment and services0.4-0.3-0.3
Health6.35.24.7
Transport5.93.63.6
 Automotive fuel8.62.35.3
Communications1.82.42.0
Recreation and culture2.71.2-2.4
 Holiday travel and accommodation1.3-0.3-9.1
Education4.84.84.7
Insurance and financial services8.68.88.2
CPI analytical series   
 Seasonally adjusted4.94.53.4
 CPI excluding volatile items** and holiday travel5.14.84.2
 Annual Trimmed mean5.34.64.0

** = Volatile items are Fruit and vegetables and Automotive fuel

Monthly Overview

The monthly CPI indicator rose 3.4% in the 12 months to December, down from the rise of 4.3% in November.

The annual movement for the monthly CPI indicator excluding volatile items and holiday travel rose 4.2% in December, down from the rise of 4.8% in November. This series excludes Fruit and vegetables, Automotive fuel, and Holiday travel and accommodation.

Annual trimmed mean inflation was 4.0% in December, down from the rise of 4.6% in November.

*Volatile items are Fruit and vegetables and Automotive fuel

New dwellings and Rents

New dwelling prices rose 5.1% in the 12 months to December, down from 5.5% in November. The rate of price growth remains lower compared to the price growth recorded over 2022, reflecting improvements in the supply of materials and subdued new demand. 

Rental prices increased 7.4% in the 12 months to December 2023, up from 7.1% in November. The rise in rents continues to reflect strong demand for rental properties and tight rental markets.
 

Electricity

Electricity prices rose 0.4% in the 12 months to December 2023, down from a rise of 10.7% in November. The annual movement was impacted by base effects, with the monthly price rise of 4.0% in December 2022 no longer contributing to the December 2023 annual movement.

Electricity prices fell 5.7% in the month of December 2023, down from a rise of 0.4% in November. The fall was driven by the introduction of the second instalment of the Energy Bill Relief Fund rebates for all households in Perth.

The Electricity series was updated with monthly prices from October 2021 onwards. Annual movements prior to October 2022 are calculated using base periods where prices were updated quarterly in month 3, with carry forward imputation used in the months where prices were not updated.

Energy Bill Relief Fund rebates introduced from July 2023 have moderated the increase in electricity bills for households across Australia.

Electricity prices have risen 2.6% since June 2023. Excluding the Energy Bill Relief Fund rebates, Electricity prices would have increased 18.0% over this period.

The following graph shows the Electricity series including and excluding government electricity rebates.

June 2022, index = 100

  • a) Introduction of the WA $400 household electricity credit
  • b) Introduction of the ACT $50 rebate for concession households
  • c) Introduction of the QLD $175 Cost of Living rebate
  • d) Introduction of the TAS $119 Winter Bill Buster electricity credit
  • e) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund (EBRF) for concession households in NSW, SA, TAS, NT and ACT, and for all households in QLD and WA. Introduction of additional ACT $50 rebate for concession households.
  • f) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund for concession households in VIC
  • g) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund for newly eligible households in in NSW, SA, TAS, NT and ACT.
  • h) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund for newly eligible households in in VIC.
  • i) Introduction of the second instalment of the Energy Bill Relief Fund for all households in WA.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 4.0% in the 12 months to December, down from a rise of 4.6% in November. The main contributors were Meals out and takeaway food (+5.7%), Food products n.e.c. (+6.8%) and Bread and cereal products (+7.7%). Both Fruit and vegetable (-2.2%) and Meat and seafood (-1.9%) prices fell in the 12 months to December.

Automotive fuel

Automotive fuel prices rose 5.3% in the 12 months to December, up from a rise of 2.3% in November. The rise in the annual movement in December is largely due to base effects with the large monthly fall of 8.1% in December 2022 no longer contributing to the annual movement.

In monthly terms, Automotive fuel prices fell 5.5% in December, following a fall of 0.5% in November. Automotive fuel prices continued to ease due to softening crude oil prices in recent months.

Holiday travel and accommodation

Holiday travel and accommodation prices fell 9.1% in the 12 months to December, following a fall of 0.3% in November. The fall in the annual movement in December is largely due to base effects with the large monthly price rise of 27.0% in December 2022 no longer contributing to the annual movement.

In monthly terms, Holiday travel and accommodation prices rose 15.8% in December, following a rise of 2.7% in November. Increased demand during the Christmas holiday period contributed to prices rises over December for both International holiday travel and accommodation and Domestic holiday travel and accommodation.

Data downloads

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Data explorer for the monthly CPI indicator.

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Detailed monthly data

Monthly Expenditure class data

 
 Monthly % ChangeAnnual % Change  
Index nameOctober 23November 23December 23December 22 to December 23 Frequency
Bread0.10.20.49.0 Monthly
Cakes and biscuits0.60.31.07.4 Monthly
Breakfast cereals0.03.93.07.5 Monthly
Other cereal products-0.70.62.54.9 Monthly
Beef and veal-0.1-0.4-0.4-5.2 Monthly
Pork2.20.9-0.64.2 Monthly
Lamb and goat-2.5-6.4-6.3-20.5 Monthly
Poultry-0.7-1.0-0.31.8 Monthly
Other meats1.2-0.3-3.1-1.6 Monthly
Fish and other seafood0.20.1-0.26.3 Monthly
Milk1.8-0.20.72.8 Monthly
Cheese-0.40.10.16.2 Monthly
Ice cream & other dairy products0.3-0.22.57.3 Monthly
Fruit2.90.8-1.9-3.6 Monthly
Vegetables-2.13.01.5-1.3 Monthly
Eggs1.8-0.20.310.7 Monthly
Jams, honey & spreads1.10.20.94.6 Monthly
Food additives & condiments0.4-0.90.75.9 Monthly
Oils and fats0.41.9-0.96.7 Monthly
Snacks and confectionery-0.61.53.07.7 Monthly
Other food products n.e.c.0.91.21.55.2 Monthly
Coffee, tea and cocoa-0.5-0.12.74.3 Monthly
Waters soft drinks & juices-0.61.80.27.8 Monthly
Restaurant mealsimp0.7imp4.6 Quarterly
Takeaway and fast foodsimp1.2imp7.1 Quarterly
Spirits-0.6-1.10.05.6 Monthly
Wine0.4-1.20.61.5 Monthly**
Beer0.00.6-0.37.0 Monthly
Tobacco3.40.10.210.8 Monthly
Garments for men4.2-2.70.8-1.2 Monthly**
Garments for women3.7-3.73.3-1.4 Monthly**
Garments for infant & child0.9impimp4.5 Quarterly
Footwear for men-1.3impimp-1.9 Quarterly
Footwear for women-0.6impimp-5.4 Quarterly
Footwear for infant & child-0.1impimp-0.9 Quarterly
Accessories-1.7impimp-0.5 Quarterly
Cleaning, repair & hire2.2impimp7.0 Quarterly
Rents-0.40.70.77.4 Monthly**
New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers0.20.90.55.1 Monthly**
Maintenance & repair of dwelling1.1impimp4.0 Quarterly
Property rates and chargesimpimp0.04.3 Quarterly***
Water and sewerageimpimp0.06.8 Quarterly***
Electricity3.40.4-5.70.4 Monthly
Gas and other household fuels-2.52.3-0.48.5 Monthly
Furniture-4.2impimp-2.3 Quarterly
Carpets & other floor cover0.0impimp4.1 Quarterly
Household textiles-5.3impimp-3.9 Quarterly
Major household appliances-3.1impimp-7.2 Quarterly
Small electronic household appliances1.4impimp-1.3 Quarterly
Glassware, tableware & household-2.8impimp-5.2 Quarterly
Tools & equipment0.5impimp1.7 Quarterly
Cleaning & maintenance products0.2-0.21.32.1 Monthly
Personal care products-2.50.43.12.8 Monthly
Other non-durable household products-1.2-0.10.80.2 Monthly
Child careimpimp3.1-7.3 Quarterly
Hairdressing & personal groomingimp1.7imp6.3 Quarterly
Other household servicesimp0.5imp3.4 Quarterly
Pharmaceutical productsimpimp-1.70.6 Quarterly
Therapeutic appliances and equipmentimpimp-1.00.6 Quarterly
Medical & hospital services1.2imp-0.16.0 Quarterly***
Dental servicesimpimp0.24.1 Quarterly
Motor vehiclesimpimp-0.61.1 Quarterly
Spare parts & accessoriesimp-3.4imp3.0 Quarterly
Automotive fuel-2.9-0.5-5.55.3 Monthly
Maintenance & repair of vehicleimp1.4imp3.9 Quarterly
Other services in respect of motor vehicleimp0.6imp4.5 Quarterly
Urban transport faresimp1.6imp6.6 Quarterly
Postal services0.40.60.417.2 Monthly
Telecommunications equip & services0.0-0.1-0.21.3 Quarterly*
Audio, visual & computer equipment-0.6-0.10.0-0.4 Quarterly*
Audio, visual, media & servicesimp0.3imp2.8 Quarterly
Booksimpimp-1.81.4 Quarterly
Newspaper magazine & stationeryimpimp0.23.5 Quarterly
Domestic holiday travel & accommodation-1.91.89.7-7.2 Monthly
International holiday travel & accommodation-12.03.622.3-10.5 Monthly
Equipment for sports, camping & recreationimp-1.0imp0.3 Quarterly
Games, toys and hobbiesimp-2.4imp-2.3 Quarterly
Pets and related products-1.20.71.82.3 Monthly
Veterinary and other services for petsimpimp1.47.7 Quarterly
Sports participationimp0.60.46.5 Quarterly
Other recreational sports & cultural servicesimp0.9imp6.5 Quarterly
Preschool & primary educationimp0.0-0.4-4.9 Quarterly***
Secondary educationimp0.0imp4.9 Quarterly***
Tertiary educationimp0.0imp10.3 Quarterly***
Insuranceimp3.8imp16.3 Quarterly
D&L Facilities0.10.40.87.3 Monthly
Other financial servicesimpimp1.06.0 Quarterly
  • Imp = Imputed. Quarterly index, not collected in that month.
  • *Some components measured monthly.
  • **Some components measured quarterly.
  • *** Measured quarterly and/or typically changes once per year.

About the monthly CPI indicator

What is the monthly CPI Indicator?

The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator was developed to provide inflation data at a higher frequency for use by governments, economists and the wider community. The quarterly CPI remains the principal measure of household inflation.

Monthly CPI Indicator coverage

The monthly CPI indicator is derived using available data from the quarterly CPI. The ABS collects prices for the CPI in a range of frequencies including monthly, quarterly, and annual. The frequency of price collection is determined by how often prices change. Where price change occurs frequently, such as for food and petrol, monthly price data is collected. Where price change is less frequent, such as for restaurant meals and hairdressers, price data is available quarterly. In some cases, prices are collected once per year where it is known prices only change annually. This is the case for some education fees, property rates and private health insurance.

For this reason, the composition of the monthly CPI basket varies across the three months of the quarter, details of the monthly coverage composition are detailed in Table 1 below.

Table 1. What's price updated - monthly breakdown
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3
Bread Bread Bread
Cakes and biscuits Cakes and biscuits Cakes and biscuits
Breakfast cereals Breakfast cereals Breakfast cereals
Other cereal products Other cereal products Other cereal products
Beef and veal Beef and veal Beef and veal
Pork Pork Pork
Lamb and goat Lamb and goat Lamb and goat
Poultry Poultry Poultry
Other meats Other meats Other meats
Fish and other seafood Fish and other seafood Fish and other seafood
Milk Milk Milk
Cheese Cheese Cheese
Ice cream & other dairy prod Ice cream & other dairy prod Ice cream & other dairy prod
Fruit Fruit Fruit
Vegetables Vegetables Vegetables
Eggs Eggs Eggs
Jams, honey & spreads Jams, honey & spreads Jams, honey & spreads
Food additives & condiments Food additives & condiments Food additives & condiments
Oils and fats Oils and fats Oils and fats
Snacks and confectionery Snacks and confectionery Snacks and confectionery
Other food products n.e.c. Other food products n.e.c. Other food products n.e.c.*
Coffee, tea and cocoa Coffee, tea and cocoa Coffee, tea and cocoa
Waters soft drinks & juices Waters soft drinks & juices Waters soft drinks & juices
Spirits Restaurant meals Spirits
Wine Takeaway and fast foods Wine
Beer Spirits Beer
Tobacco Wine Tobacco 
Garments for men Beer Garments for men
Garments for women Tobacco Garments for women
Garments for infant & child Garments for men Rents
Footwear for men Garments for women New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers
Footwear for women Rents Property rates and charges (annual)
Footwear for infant & child New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers Water and sewerage
Accessories Electricity Electricity
Electricity Gas and other household fuels Gas and other household fuels
Gas and other household fuels Cleaning & maintenance prod Cleaning & maintenance prod
Cleaning, repair & hire Personal care products Personal care products
Rents Other non-durable household prods Other non-durable household prods
New dwelling purchase by owner occupiers Hairdressing & personal grooming Child care
Maintenance & repair of dwelling Other household services Pharmaceutical products
Electricity Spare parts & accessories Therapeutic appliances and equipment
Furniture Automotive fuel Medical & hospital services
Carpets & other floor cover Maintenance & repair of vehicle     Medical services
Household textiles Other services in respect of motor vehicle Dental services
Major household appliances Urban transport fares Motor vehicles
Small electronic household appliances Postal services Automotive fuel
Glassware, tableware & household Telecommunications equip & services (partial monthly) Postal services
Tools & equipment Audio,visual & computer equipment Telecommunications equip & services (partial monthly)
Cleaning & maintenance prod Audio, visual, media & services Audio,visual & computer equipment
Personal care products Domestic holiday travel & accommodation Books
Other non-durable household prods International holiday travel & accommodation Newspaper magazine & stationery
Medical & hospital services Equipment for sports,camp Domestic holiday travel & accommodation
   Private Health insurance (annual, plus irregular changes) Games, toys and hobbies International holiday travel & accommodation
Automotive fuel Pets and related products Pets and related products
Postal services Sports participation Vet & other pet services
Telecommunications equip & services (partial monthly) Other recreational sports & cultural services Sports participation
Audio,visual & computer equipment Preschool & primary education (quarterly & annual) Preschool & primary education (quarterly & annual)
Domestic holiday travel & accommodation Secondary education (annual) D&L Facilities (direct)
International holiday travel & accommodation Tertiary education (bi-annual) Other financial services
Pets and related products Insurance  
D&L Facilities (direct) D&L Facilities (direct)  

* n.e.c Not elsewhere classified

Introducing monthly indicators of underlying inflation

The December 2022 release of the monthly CPI indicator stated

"The release of the monthly CPI indicator includes a Trimmed mean series which was intended to provide additional analytical insights into inflation on a monthly basis. The ABS has identified that the Trimmed mean series is not, however, providing a reliable indicator for the principal measure of trimmed mean inflation published in the quarterly CPI publication. The ABS will suspend the publication of the monthly Trimmed mean series while we investigate."

Since this decision the ABS has investigated the monthly trimmed mean measure and assessed alternative measures of underlying inflation.

Investigation of monthly Trimmed mean

The investigation found there was a downward bias in the monthly Trimmed mean when compared to the quarterly Trimmed mean, which is considered the principal measure of underlying inflation. The bias was evident during a period of rising inflation caused by the use of carry forward imputation for some monthly data. Details on the carry forward imputation approach are provided in Introducing a monthly CPI indicator. Carry forward imputation is not used in the quarterly CPI and therefore does not affect the quarterly Trimmed mean.

Alternative measures of underlying inflation

The ABS assessed variations of established measures of underlying inflation. Two alternatives were found to be a reasonable indicator of annual movements of the quarterly Trimmed mean:

  1. Annual trimmed mean. This measure uses a similar method to the quarterly trimmed mean. The key difference is rather than use the quarterly movements in the trimming process, the annual movements are used. In this case, each month the annual movements of the 87 CPI series are ranked from lowest to highest. The top and bottom 15% of annual movements are removed, with the average is taken from the middle 70% of annual movements. For more details on the Trimmed mean method see Underlying Inflation Measures: Explaining the Trimmed Mean.
  2. CPI excluding volatile items and holiday travel. CPI exclusion based measures are used by many countries to provide different insights into CPI inflation by removing the effects of certain items. Typically, the price change for these items tend to be volatile and often not reflective of the underlying inflationary trends. This new measure builds on the existing 'CPI excluding volatile items' series and also excludes holiday travel. Volatile items are fruit, vegetables and automotive fuel. 

For holiday travel, it has been shown that events such as Christmas and Easter, as well as school holidays, have a significant impact on airfare and accommodation prices. This sees monthly movements for holiday travel as quite volatile. By calculating a series that excludes the monthly movements of holiday travel and the other volatile items, the monthly movements at the aggregate CPI level provide a reasonable insight of underlying inflation.

Articles

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 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. 

Consistent with existing policy, the ABS does not comment on the use (or otherwise) of the price indexes we publish. However, it should be noted that the monthly CPI indicator may be routinely subject to revision, in contrast to the quarterly CPI which is only revised in exceptional circumstances.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) specific to the monthly CPI indicator can be found in the Information paper: Introducing a monthly CPI indicator for Australia FAQs 

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

Methodology

Scope

The monthly CPI indicator is a general measure of price change for goods and services purchased by Australian households.

Geography

Monthly data is published at the national level, derived as a weighted average of the eight capital cities.

Source

Prices are collected for a range of goods and services (the CPI basket) from a variety of retailers across the eight capital cities.

Collection method

Prices are collected in a range of frequencies including monthly, quarterly, and annually using: 

  • web-scraping
  • online and telephone collections from retailers
  • administrative data, including supermarket scanner data.

Concepts, sources and methods

Information about the data sources and methods used to compile the CPI is contained in the Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods.

History of changes

  • Partial update of CPI weights July 2023.
  • Monthly Gas series included June 2023.
  • Annual trimmed mean included April 2023.
  • Monthly Electricity included February 2023.
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