Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia

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Living Cost Indexes (LCIs) measures the price change of goods and services and its effect on living expenses of selected household types

Reference period
December 2021

Key statistics

Weighted average of eight capital cities, All groupsSep Qtr 2021 to Dec Qtr 2021
% change
Dec Qtr 2020 to Dec Qtr 2021
% change
Selected Living Cost Indexes (LCIs) - Household type:  
 Pensioner and beneficiary LCI (PBLCI)0.83.0
 Employee LCI0.82.6
 Age pensioner LCI0.83.4
 Other government transfer recipient LCI0.92.7
 Self-funded retiree LCI0.93.3
Consumer Price Index (CPI)1.33.5

In the December quarter 2021, all five LCIs rose:

  • Transport was the main contributor for all five population sub-groups. The Automotive fuel series reached record levels in the December 2021 quarter, due to higher global oil prices amid economic recovery and limited oil supply. 
  • Recreation and culture was a main contributor for three of the five population sub-groups: Employee, Age pensioner and Self-funded retiree households. This was due to price increases for Domestic holiday travel and accommodation following the re-opening of state and territory borders and the commencement of the peak summer holiday period.
  • Alcohol and tobacco was a main contributor for two of the five population sub-groups: Pensioner and beneficiary and Other government transfer recipient households. This was due to increases in Tobacco prices driven by the flow-on effect of the Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings (AWOTE) excise increase of 1.4% applied on 1 September 2021. 

Over the past twelve months all LCIs rose annually by between 2.6% and 3.4%:

  • Transport was the main contributor for all five population sub-groups, with the price of Automotive fuel rising 32%.
  • The Age pensioner household sub-group had the highest annual increase (+3.4%). Food makes up a higher proportion of this sub-group compared to the others. This household group also had the highest annual increase in housing costs.
  • The Employee household sub-group had the lowest annual increase (+2.6%) due to Mortgage interest charges falling over the year. Excluding Mortgage interest charges, this household group would have risen 3.1%.

What's new this quarter

Main contributors to change

Percentage change, Commodity group -September Quarter 2021 to December Quarter 2021
Weighted average of eight capital citiesPensioner and beneficiary LCIEmployee LCIAge pensioner LCIOther government transfer recipient LCISelf-funded retiree LCIConsumer Price Index (CPI)
Food and non-alcoholic beverages0.
Alcohol and tobacco1.
Clothing and footwear2.
Housing (a)
Furnishings, household equipment and services1.
Recreation and culture1.
Insurance and financial services (b)0.3-
All groups0.

(a) New dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers are included in the CPI but excluded from the Selected Living Cost Indexes.
(b) The Selected Living Cost Indexes includes interest charges and general insurance. Interest charges are excluded from the CPI and general insurance is calculated on a different basis.


For further analysis on commodity group contributors, please see the the latest release of the Consumer Price Index.

Data downloads

Table 1. All groups, index numbers and percentage changes, by household type

Table 2. Commodity groups, index numbers, percentage changes and points contributions, by household type

Table 3. Gross insurance, mortgage interest and consumer credit, index numbers and percentage changes, by household type

Use of 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 6467.0.

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