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
March 2022

Key statistics

  Dec Qtr 2021 to Mar Qtr 2022Mar Qtr 2021 to Mar Qtr 2022
Weighted average of eight capital cities, All groups% change% change
Selected Living Cost Indexes (LCIs) - Household type:  
 Pensioner and beneficiary LCI (PBLCI)2.24.6
 Employee LCI1.73.8
 Age pensioner LCI2.34.9
 Other government transfer recipient LCI2.14.3
 Self-funded retiree LCI1.84.4
Consumer Price Index (CPI)2.15.1

In the March 2022 quarter, all five LCIs rose:

  • Age pensioner and Other government transfer recipient households recorded the largest quarterly rises since the September 2000 quarter, following the introduction of the GST.
  • Pensioner and beneficiary households (which includes Age pensioners and Other government transfer recipients) recorded the largest quarterly rise since the beginning of the series in 2007.

The largest contributors to the rises were:

  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages and Transport for all five household types.
  • Supply chain disruptions, high transport, fertiliser, packaging and ingredient costs, and floods affected several Food series, notably Fruit and vegetables and Meat and seafood.
  • The Automotive fuel series reached record levels in the March 2022 quarter, due to higher global oil prices amid economic recovery and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 
  • Health was the next largest contributor to rises for four of the five household types: Age pensioner, Other government transfer recipient, Self-funded retiree and Pensioner and beneficiary households.
  • Pharmaceutical products and Medical and hospital services rose due to the cyclical decline in the proportion of consumers qualifying for subsidies under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare safety net. The safety net thresholds for both the PBS and Medicare are reset on 1 January each year. 


    Over the past twelve months all LCIs rose by between 3.8% and 4.9%:

    • Transport was the main contributor for all five household types, with the price of Automotive fuel rising 35.1%.
    • Age pensioner households had the highest annual increase (+4.9%). This is the largest annual increase since the September 2006 quarter for this household type. Food and Housing make up a higher proportion of the expenditure for Age pensioner households compared to the other household types.
    • Employee households had the lowest annual increase (+3.8%) mainly due to Mortgage interest charges falling over the year. Excluding Mortgage interest charges, the index for this household type would have risen 4.3%.

    Main contributors to change

    Percentage change, Commodity group - December Quarter 2021 to March 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 beverages3.
    Alcohol and tobacco1.
    Clothing and footwear-1.0-0.7-1.0-1.1-0.8-0.6
    Housing (a)
    Furnishings, household equipment and services1.
    Recreation and culture1.
    Insurance and financial services (b)
    All groups2.

    (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 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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