The Prices Program compiles a number of key main economic indicators: the Consumer Price Index (CPI); the House Price Index (HPI); the Wage Price Index (WPI); and a range of Producer and International Trade Price Indexes (PPIs and ITPIs). The program also produces a Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Costs Index (PBLCI), and Analytical Living Cost Indexes (ALCIs) for Selected Australian Household Types. The program promotes, through provision of information papers, seminars and other means, a greater understanding in the community of concepts, methods and uses of price indexes.
The main clients for the program’s outputs are the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Treasury, the Australian Government Departments of: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Australian, State and Territory government agencies whose payments are indexed, economic analysts, and the general business community.
The main uses of the key prices indicators are:
- CPI is a general measure of price inflation for the household sector; for production of volume estimates of components of the Australian National Accounts; as a basis for indexing pensions, superannuation payments and government taxes and charges; as an input into salary and wage negotiations; and for indexation of government bonds and business contracts
- HPI is a measure of price changes for established houses and for project homes; for analysis of trends in the housing market; and of changes in the value of the housing stock
- WPI informs measurements of wage inflation; wage setting negotiations; production of volume estimates of components of the Australian National Accounts; and the indexation of business contracts
- PPIs and ITPIs are used for the production of volume estimates for components of the Australian National Accounts; as a guide to future inflationary trends; and for indexation of business contracts
- PBLCI is a measure of the impact of changes in prices on the out-of-pocket living costs experienced by pensioners and other government benefit recipient households; and as a basis for indexing pensions and other payments to government benefit recipients
- ALCIs are supplementary analytical series to the CPI and are used as a measure of the impact of changes in prices on the out-of-pocket living costs experienced by employee households, age pensioner households, other government benefit recipient households and self-funded retiree households.
The main program outputs are the following quarterly publications:
Consumer Price Index, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6401.0)
House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities (ABS cat. no. 6416.0)
Wage Price Index, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6345.0)
Producer Price Indexes, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6427.0) and International Trade Price Indexes, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6457.0)
Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6467.0)
Analytical Living Costs Indexes for Selected Australian Household types, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6463.0).
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- implement a program of improvements to the coverage of the services industries for Producer Price Indexes – from September 2012
- re-reference the CPI, PPIs, ITPIs, ALCIs and PBLCI – from October 2012
- introduce a program of improvements to the PBLCI and ALCIs, including amalgamating the PBLCI and ALCI into a single product; Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6467.0) – from October 2012
- implement the outcome of the review of the PPIs and ITPIs including: reweighting the indexes, and compiling the Stage of Production (SOP) Indexes on an Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 basis – November 2012
- introduce a retail trade margins index – early 2013
- review the HPI, including undertaking a re-weight based on 2011 Census of Population and Housing data – December 2013
Topics @ a Glance - Inflation and Price Indexes