CPI rose 1.8 per cent in the September 2022 quarter 

27 October 2022

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.8 per cent in the September 2022 quarter and 7.3 per cent annually, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Program Manager of Prices at the ABS, Michelle Marquardt, said “This quarter’s increase matches that of last quarter and is lower than the 2.1 per cent result in March quarter this year. All three results exceed any other quarterly results since the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and underlie the highest annual increase in the CPI since 1990.”

The most significant contributors to the rise in the September quarter were new dwellings (+3.7 per cent), gas (+10.9 per cent) and furniture (+6.6 per cent). 

“Labour shortages in the house construction industry, leading to rises in labour costs, contributed to the rise in new dwellings this quarter. The continuation of material shortages added further price pressure. However, the rate of price growth in new dwellings eased relative to recent quarters (+5.6 per cent and +5.7 per cent in June and March quarters), reflecting a softening in new demand and some easing in supply constraints”, Ms Marquardt said. 

“Annual gas price reviews across the states and territories saw higher wholesale gas prices passed on to consumers in the September quarter. Electricity rose 3.2 per cent this quarter, with rises across the country offset by the Western Australian Government’s $400 electricity credit, and smaller credits offered by the Queensland and Australian Capital Territory Governments. Excluding the effect of these schemes, electricity would have risen 15.6 per cent in the quarter.”

Food (+3.2 per cent) prices continued to rise, driven by meals out and takeaway foods (+2.9 per cent) due to higher ingredient, wage and transportation costs. Fruit (+6.6 per cent) and vegetables (+2.9 per cent) continued to rise through the quarter reflecting high input costs and weather-damaged crops, although vegetable prices eased in the month of September.

Partially offsetting the September quarter rise was automotive fuel (-4.3 per cent), which fell in all three months of the quarter, reflecting falling crude oil prices. 

Annually, the CPI rose 7.3 per cent, with new dwellings (+20.7 per cent) and automotive fuel (+18.0 per cent) the most significant contributors. 

“For the second consecutive quarter, annual price inflation for new dwellings was the strongest recorded since the series commenced in 1999, as high material and labour costs mingled with high demand”, said Ms Marquardt. 

“Fewer grant payments from the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder and similar state-based housing construction programs compared to the same time last year also contributed to the annual increase. Excluding the impact of the reduction in grant payments made, new dwellings would have recorded an annual rise of 17.7 per cent.” 

The annual increase in the price of goods (+9.6 per cent) was the highest since 1983 and continued to rise more strongly than that of services (+4.1 per cent). The price of non-discretionary goods and services rose 8.4 per cent, while that of discretionary goods and services rose 5.5 per cent. 

Underlying inflation measures reduce the impact of irregular or temporary price changes in the CPI. For the second consecutive quarter, annual trimmed mean inflation was the highest since the series commenced in 2003, increasing to 6.1 per cent, up from 4.9 per cent in the June quarter.