Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator

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

Reference period
March 2023

Key statistics

  • The monthly CPI indicator rose 6.3% in the twelve months to March.
  • The most significant price rises were Housing (+9.5%), Food and non-alcoholic beverages (+8.1%) and Furnishings, household equipment and services (+7.2%).

What's new this month

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have published a joint paper called New Insights into the Rental Market. The paper draws out new insights into the private Australian rental market using a new large administrative dataset of rental properties, which is an input to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For more details see paper here.

Electricity series weight changes

The weights for the monthly Electricity series have been updated from October 2022 to align with the quarterly Electricity series weights. This has resulted in revisions to the Electricity series and the Housing group in the monthly CPI indicator dating back to October 2022. There were no revisions to the monthly CPI indicator All groups results.

For February 2023, the Electricity series was revised from an annual rise of 17.2% to a rise of 15.6%.

Main features

Weighted average of eight capital cities, annual movement

Jan 22 to Jan 23

% change

Feb 22 to Feb 23

% change

Mar 22 to Mar 23

% change

All groups monthly CPI7.46.86.3
Food and non-alcoholic beverages8.28.08.1
     Bread and cereal products12.612.510.8
     Meat & seafood5.13.34.3
     Dairy and related products14.514.315.1
     Fruit & vegetables5.15.85.9
     Food products n.e.c.11.111.811.8
     Non-alcoholic beverages9.96.67.2
Alcohol and tobacco4.04.34.9
Clothing and footwear3.13.73.2
     New dwelling purchases by owner-occupiers14.713.011.1
Furnishings, household equipment and services6.86.67.2
     Automotive fuel7.55.6-8.2
Recreation and culture10.26.46.1
     Holiday travel and accommodation17.814.913.9
Insurance and financial services5.15.66.6
CPI analytical series   
       Seasonally adjusted7.27.16.5
       All groups CPI excluding volatile items*


*Volatile items are Fruit and vegetables and Automotive fuel

Monthly Overview

The monthly CPI indicator annual movement rose 6.3% in March, down from 6.8% in February.

The annual movement for the monthly CPI excluding volatile items rose 6.9%, up from 6.8% in February. This series excludes Fruit and vegetables and Automotive fuel.

*Volatile items are Fruit and vegetables and Automotive fuel

New dwellings price rises continue to ease

New dwelling prices rose 11.1% in the year to March reflecting labour and material cost increases. Fewer grant payments from the Federal Government's HomeBuilder program and similar state-based housing construction grants also contributed to the rise in new dwelling prices over the year.

The rate of price growth has continued to ease compared to the record high increase of 21.7% for the year to July 2022. This reflects a softening in new demand and improvements in the supply of materials.

Rent prices increase further

Rent prices increased 5.3% in the year to March up from 4.8% in February, reflecting strong demand amid low vacancy rates.

In monthly terms, March rose 0.5%; this is lower than the previous two monthly movements of 0.7%, due to the impact of the government support payment indexation on rent assistance. Increases in rent assistance reduce the amount of rent paid by eligible renters.  Excluding the rise for rent assistance, the Rents series would have increased by 0.7% in the March month.

Electricity prices remain high

Electricity prices rose 15.7% in the year to March. This reflects annual price reviews in July 2022. The full impacts of electricity price rises in July 2022 took some time to flow through to households' electricity bills due to electricity rebates in Western Australia, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania. On a monthly basis, electricity prices have been fairly stable for the past three months.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices still elevated

Over the twelve months to March, Food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 8.1%, with price rises seen across all food categories. These increases reflect price pressures from higher input costs.

The main contributors were:

  • Food products n.e.c. rose 11.8%, due to high ingredient, packaging and processing costs for products such as potato chips, chocolates and edible oils.
  • Dairy and related products rose 15.1%, due to increasing farmgate milk prices flowing through to various dairy products.

In monthly terms, broad-based price rises were seen across all categories with the exception of Meat and seafoods due to falling beef and lamb prices.

Holiday travel and accommodation inflation eases due to lower airfare prices

Holiday travel and accommodation rose 13.9% in the year to March, falling from a high of 29.8% for the year to December 2022. While demand and prices remain high for both Domestic and International holiday travel and accommodation, airfare prices have eased in recent months since peaking in December 2022.

Automotive fuel prices fall in March

March saw Automotive fuel prices fall 2.2% due to easing global crude oil prices. Automotive fuel prices remain high, however, March represents one year since Ukraine was invaded, which saw prices rise 12.5% in March 2022. This is reflected in the annual movement falling 8.2% in March 2023, down from a rise of 5.6% in February.

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Data explorer for the monthly CPI indicator.

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Annual weight update

About the monthly CPI indicator

What is the monthly CPI Indicator?

What's price updated - monthly breakdown


Measuring Rents in the CPI 

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.

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