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 2022

Key statistics

Weighted average of eight capital cities, All groups
 Sep Qtr 2022 to Dec Qtr 2022Dec Qtr 2021 to Dec Qtr 2022
% change% change
Selected Living Cost Indexes (LCIs) - Household type:
 Pensioner and beneficiary LCI (PBLCI)1.87.4
 Employee LCI3.29.3
 Age pensioner LCI1.77.3
 Other government transfer recipient LCI2.07.4
 Self-funded retiree LCI2.27.6
Consumer Price Index (CPI)1.97.8


In the December 2022 quarter, all five LCIs rose:

  • Employee households recorded the largest quarterly rise (+3.2%) across the five household types, and the largest rise for this household type since the September 2000 quarter.
  • Mortgage interest charges make up a higher proportion of expenditure for Employee households compared to the other household types, and it was the largest contributor to the increase in living costs for Employee households (see chart below).
  • Mortgage interest charges was also a main contributor for Other government transfer recipients (+2.0%). Mortgage interest charges continued to rise this quarter as banks passed on the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA’s) cash rate rises to interest rates for variable and new fixed rate home loans.
  • The remaining three household types recorded rises between 1.7% and 2.2%. Recreation and culture and Housing were the main contributors for these household types.
  • Strong demand, particularly over the Christmas holiday period, contributed to price rises for domestic holiday travel and international airfares.
  • Electricity prices rose reflecting the unwinding of the $400 electricity credit offered by the Western Australian Government to all households last quarter. This was partially offset by the ongoing impact of the Queensland Government’s $175 Cost of Living rebate from September 2022, and the introduction of the Tasmanian Government’s $119 Winter Bill Buster electricity discount for concession households.
Employee households All groups, quarterly movement (%), ordered by largest contributors to the All groups

Employee households All groups, quarterly movement (%), ordered by largest contributors to the All groups:

Mortgage interest, 26.6%
Recreation and culture, 5.5%
Housing (a), 2.2%
Remaining contributors (b), 1.2%
Food and non-alcoholic beverages, 1.0%
Furnishings, household equipment and services, 1.8%
Transport, 1.8%

  1. Housing includes Rents, Utilities, and Other housing (Property rates and Maintenance and repair of the dwelling).
  2. Remaining contributors includes Alcohol and tobacco, Clothing and footwear, Health, Communication, Education, and Insurance and financial services (excluding Mortgage interest).

Over the past twelve months all LCIs rose by between 7.3% and 9.3%:

  • All household types recorded their largest annual rise on record. The Pensioner and beneficiary household series commenced in 2008. The series for the remaining four household types commenced in 1999. Employee households recorded the largest annual rise (+9.3%). The last time the CPI recorded an annual rise of 9.3% was in 1987. 
  • Annually, Food and non-alcoholic beverages was the main contributor for three of the household types: Age pensioners, Other government transfer recipients, and Pensioner and beneficiary. The rise in Food was driven by Meals out and takeaway food and Fruit and vegetables, due to rising input costs, minimum wage rises, and unfavourable weather events earlier in 2022.
  • Mortgage interest charges was the main contributor for Employee households and rose strongly over the year, reflecting increased home loan interest rates. Excluding Mortgage interest charges, the index for this household type would have risen 6.8% through the year.
  • Self-funded retirees recorded the next largest annual rise (+7.6%) with Recreation and culture being the main contributor. Holiday travel and accommodation makes up a higher proportion of expenditure for Self-funded retirees compared to the other household types and rose over the year.
  • Age pensioner households recorded the smallest annual rise (+7.3%) due to having a lower proportion of expenditure for Mortgage interest charges.

Main contributors to change

Percentage change, commodity group - September Quarter 2022 to December quarter 2022
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 culture5.
Insurance and financial services (b)6.715.63.510.23.32.0
All groups1.
  1. New dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers are included in the CPI but excluded from the Selected Living Cost Indexes.
  2. 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 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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