CPI rises in December quarter

The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2 per cent in the December quarter 2012, lower than the 1.4 per cent rise experienced in the September quarter, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The CPI increased by 2.2 per cent year-on-year.

The ABS found the biggest price increases in the last quarter of the year were for interstate holiday travel and accommodation, which was up 6.2 per cent; and for petrol, which was up by 2.6 per cent.

CPI increases were offset by a number of price falls, notably the cost of vegetables, down by 5.7 per cent.  Audio, visual and computing equipment prices also dropped by 4.3 per cent and the cost of pharmaceutical products fell by 3.5 per cent. The fall in pharmaceutical prices were largely due to more consumers exceeding the Pharmaceutical benefits Scheme safety net.

On a state-by-state basis, the CPI rose in all seven capital cities during the December quarter. Prices rose the most in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra (all up by 0.4 per cent). Perth and Brisbane prices were up by 0.3 per cent, while Darwin recorded no change.

In particular, motor vehicles and fuel became significantly more expensive in most cities, rising by 2.6 per cent in Hobart, 1.6 per cent in Melbourne and 1.3 per cent in Perth.

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