Australian CPI Rises by 5.2% Annually to August 2023

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the latest data on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August 2023, revealing an annual increase of 5.2 percent. This figure is up from 4.9 percent in July but remains below the peak of 8.4 percent recorded in December 2022.

Key Contributors to the August Annual Increase:

  • Housing: Up by 6.6 percent
  • Transport: Up by 7.4 percent
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages: Up by 4.4 percent
  • Insurance and financial services: Up by 8.8 percent

Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, noted that CPI inflation can be influenced by volatile price changes in items such as automotive fuel, fruit and vegetables, and holiday travel. Excluding these volatile items, the annual rise in the CPI for August is 5.5 percent, slightly lower than the 5.8 percent in July.

Highlights of Specific Categories:

  • Housing: The annual increase of 6.6 percent is lower than the 7.3 percent increase in July. New dwelling prices rose 4.8 percent, the lowest annual rise since August 2021, as building material price increases eased due to improved supply conditions. Rent prices increased by 7.8 percent in the 12 months to August.
  • Energy Costs: Electricity prices increased by 12.7 percent, and gas prices rose by 12.9 percent in the 12 months to August due to wholesale price hikes. Rebates from the Energy Bill Relief Fund, introduced in most cities in July, helped reduce the impact of electricity price increases for eligible households.
  • Automotive Fuel: Prices surged by 13.9 percent compared to the previous year, with a monthly increase of 9.1 percent in August. These fluctuations are partly attributed to price changes from the same period last year when automotive fuel prices fell significantly.
  • Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: These items rose by 4.4 percent in the 12 months to August, down from a 5.6 percent annual increase in July. While prices for bread, cereal products, and dairy products increased by over 10 percent in the past year, fruit and vegetable prices were 8.3 percent lower due to improved growing conditions.

These inflation trends provide insights into the changing cost of living for Australians and the impact of various economic factors on consumer prices.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)