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6469.0 - Outcome of the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index Review, Dec 2010  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/12/2010  First Issue
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PREFACE

Since 1960, when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was first compiled, the ABS has maintained a program of periodic reviews of the CPI. The 16th series CPI review was a comprehensive review, a systematic examination of CPI concepts, methodologies and data sources, undertaken to ensure that the index continues to meet community needs.

The issues considered in the review of the 16th series CPI were set out in the Information Paper: Issues to be considered during the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index Review (cat. no. 6468.0) released on 15 December 2009. Following the release of the paper, there was extensive public consultation. A CPI Review Advisory Group was established, which represented a broad cross-section of CPI users, to provide advice to the ABS. I would like to thank all members of the public who provided submissions, and all the members of the Advisory Group who have given their time freely to help with this exercise. This paper contains information on each of the issues considered during the course of this review, and outlines the ABS view on each.

Decisions about changing any aspect of the CPI are generally extremely important and often difficult to make. The decisions which have been taken represent an on-balance view of the sort of CPI best suited to meet the varying requirements of the broader Australian community, now and into the next decade.

The 16th series CPI will be introduced in the September quarter 2011 and will be linked to the 15th series CPI at the June quarter 2011. A further information paper will be released about one month before the introduction of the 16th series CPI providing details of the new index, including the weighting pattern that will be adopted.

The ABS will arrange information sessions in early 2011 to discuss with the community the outcomes of the review and I encourage all interested users to attend.


Brian Pink
Australian Statistician



INTRODUCTION


BACKGROUND

The consumer price index (CPI) is an important economic indicator. It provides a general measure of changes in prices of consumer goods and services acquired by Australian households. The CPI is used for a variety of purposes, such as in the development and analysis of economic policy, the adjustment of wages and pensions and in individual contracts. Because of this, the CPI directly or indirectly affects all Australians.

Since 1960, the ABS has maintained a program of periodic reviews of the CPI to ensure that it continues to meet community needs. The present 15th series CPI, which uses a 2003-04 weighting base, was first published in the September quarter 2005 CPI release.


THE 16TH SERIES REVIEW

The ABS commenced work on the 16th series review of the CPI in 2009. This information paper outlines the outcomes of the review and sets out the decisions taken regarding the 16th series CPI.


CONSULTATION PROCESS

The ABS has undertaken extensive public consultation about the 16th series CPI. This phase commenced on 15 December 2009 with the release of Information Paper: Issues to be considered during the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index Review (cat. no. 6468.0). The ABS sought the views of interested parties in both written submissions and through public hearings during the course of the review.

Advertisements were placed in all major Australian newspapers drawing attention to the release of the information paper, inviting submissions on the issues to be considered and announcing seminars in each capital city. The ABS received 55 written submissions from organisations and individuals. A list of the submissions received on the review is provided in Appendix 1. All submissions can be viewed on the ABS website.

A seminar was held in each of the eight capital cities on the CPI review and consultations were undertaken with a range of CPI users.

The ABS is grateful to all organisations and individuals who participated in the public consultation processes.

An Advisory Group (AG), comprising representatives of major users (see Appendix 2 for the composition of the group), was formed to assist the ABS in its deliberations. In addition to matters raised in Information Paper: Issues to be considered during the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index Review (cat. no. 6468.0), other issues arising from the public submissions were also discussed with the AG.


THE 16TH SERIES CPI

The 16th series CPI will be introduced in respect of the September quarter 2011 and will be linked to the 15th series at the June quarter 2011 (see Timetable in Chapter 8). An updated weighting pattern (using 2009-10 Household Expenditure Survey data and data from other sources) will be implemented.


INFORMATION SESSIONS

The ABS intends to hold information sessions in capital cities to outline the changes to the CPI, subject to demand. The sessions will explain the outcomes of this CPI review and invite questions from the community. Their timing and location will be made available on the ABS website and via advertisements placed in major newspapers in early 2011.

Readers wishing to obtain further information about the matters covered in this information paper should contact:

Mr Derick Cullen
Director
Macroeconomic Research Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PO Box 10
BELCONNEN ACT 2616
Telephone: (02) 6252 7139
Email: < d.cullen@abs.gov.au >


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