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6467.0 - Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Jun 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/08/2011   
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JUNE KEY FIGURES

Weighted average of eight capital cities
Mar Qtr 2011 to Jun Qtr 2011 % change
Jun 2010 to Jun Qtr 2011 % change

Food
1.4
6.7
Alcohol and tobacco
0.8
7.3
Clothing and footwear
2.1
0.6
Housing
0.0
5.7
Household contents and services
1.2
-0.2
Health
1.6
3.9
Transportation
1.7
5.0
Communication
0.5
0.5
Recreation
-0.3
-0.2
Education
0.0
5.6
Financial and insurance services
1.3
8.3
All groups
0.9
4.5


PBLCI - All Groups, Quarterly change
Graph: PBLCI - All Groups, Quarterly change

PBLCI - All Groups, Contribution to quarterly change - June Quarter 2011




JUNE KEY POINTS


THE ALL GROUPS PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX (PBLCI)
  • rose 0.9% for the June quarter 2011, compared with a rise of 1.9% in the March quarter 2011.
  • showed the same increase for the June quarter 2011 as the CPI (+0.9%).
  • rose 4.5% through the year to the June quarter 2011, compared to a through the year rise of 4.6% to the March quarter 2011.
  • showed a larger increase through the year to the June quarter 2011 than the CPI (+3.6%).


OVERVIEW OF PBLCI MOVEMENTS
  • The most significant price rises this quarter were for food (+1.4%), transportation (+1.7%) and household contents and services (+1.2%).
  • The only offsetting price fall this quarter was for recreation (-0.3%).


NOTES

FORTHCOMING ISSUES

ISSUE (QUARTER) Release Date
September 2011 14 November 2011
December 2011 1 February 2012
March 2012 2 May 2012
June 2012 1 August 2012



CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

This issue incorporates a number of amendments to historical series in table 1, where errors had been made in the rounding process when calculating the percentage changes. Please see paragraph 24 in the explanatory notes for more information on the PBLCI calculation methodology.


CHANGES TO THE PBLCI FROM SEPTEMBER QUARTER 2011

The September quarter 2011 issue of the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) will incorporate some changes flowing from the recent major review of the CPI.

The main changes that will be incorporated in the September quarter 2011 PBLCI publication are:
  • new household expenditure weights derived from the 2009-10 Household Expenditure Survey (HES) and other data sources;
  • the coverage of the expenditure weights for the PBLCI households (age pensioner households and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits) will change, thus improving the alignment and scope of the price collection and expenditure estimates leading to improved overall estimates. The expenditure weights for the PBLCI households will change from using national expenditures to capital city level expenditures, consistent with the approach used for the CPI. The 2009/10 HES included additional sampling of age pensioners and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits. Analysis of the results of the 2009/10 HES for these households showed that the expenditure weights at the capital city level were sufficiently reliable;
  • the CPI commodity classification (CPICC) used to categorise the goods and services in the CPI, and subsequently the PBLCI, will be updated to ensure it reflects contemporary wording and groupings. To enable greater international comparability, the classification will be aligned to the United Nations Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP) where possible. Consequently, there will be considerable re-naming and some re-ordering of the items in the classification. A detailed list of changes to the CPICC, including tables showing correspondences between the 15th and 16th series commodity classifications can be found in Consumer Price Index Commodity Classification, Australia, 16th Series, 2011 (cat. no. 6401.0.55.004).

The 16th series CPI will be introduced from the September quarter 2011. The ABS will release a series of publications in the coming months to provide users with detailed information regarding the changes to the PBLCI and the CPI. For further details please refer to Changes to the CPI from September Quarter 2011 within Consumer Price Index, Australia, June quarter 2011 (cat. no. 6401.0) or www.abs.gov.au.


IMPACT OF THE FLOODS AND CYCLONE YASI

ABS price index compilation methodologies and quality assurance processes have ensured that any impact of the floods and cyclone on consumer prices is reflected in the data included in this publication.


ROUNDING

Any discrepancies between totals and sums of components in this publication are due to rounding.


INDEX NUMBERS USE REFERENCE BASE OF JUNE QUARTER 2007 = 100.0

To allow comparison of the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index with other ABS price indexes, all index numbers in this publication use a reference base of June quarter 2007 = 100.0. However, percentage changes used in this publication for the Consumer Price Index are as published in Consumer Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6401.0). The percentage changes for Analytical Living Cost Indexes used in this publication are as published in Analytical Living Cost Indexes for Selected Australian Household Types (cat. no. 6463.0).


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


THE PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX

The Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) has been designed to answer the question:

'By how much would after tax money incomes need to change to allow age pensioners and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits to purchase the same quantity of consumer goods and services that they purchased in the base period?'

The PBLCI has been derived by combining the age pensioner Analytical Living Cost Index (ALCI) and the other government transfer recipient ALCI. Living cost indexes are intended to measure the impact of changes in prices on the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by these particular household types.

In the June quarter 2011 the PBLCI increased by 0.9%. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.9% over the same period.

Since the PBLCI series began in June quarter 2007 it has risen 16.2%, compared to 13.2% for the CPI. Differences have occurred for a number of reasons that relate to factors that affect the component series used to compile the PBLCI. The inclusion of mortgage interest and consumer credit charges and the different treatments of housing and insurance in the PBLCI result in variations between the PBLCI and the CPI series. The expenditure patterns of age pensioner and other government transfer recipient households differ from those of the overall household sector covered by the CPI, which also contributes to differences in the percentage changes.

For more information on the relationship between the PBLCI, CPI and the ALCIs, see the Explanatory Notes.


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