Higher petrol prices increase living costs: Australia

Annual increases in living costs continued to exceed 2.5 per cent for all households in the September 2021 quarter, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, Michelle Marquardt said: “Over the past 12 months automotive fuel prices have increased 25 per cent, which has been the largest contributor to higher living costs for Australian households.”

The Living Cost Indexes show the impact of changes in prices on the living costs of different groups of households: employee; age pensioners; other government benefit recipients; self-funded retirees; and pensioner and beneficiaries.

Living costs increased between 2.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent across these household groups over the past 12 months. Ms Marquardt noted that: “The impact of price changes on household living costs can vary between household groups due to the different spending patterns of households. For instance, mortgage interest payments make up a higher proportion of overall expenditure for employee households compared to other types of households.”

Mortgage interest charges fell 1.6 per cent in the September quarter and 8.1 per cent over the past 12 months. Ms Marquardt said: “Lower fixed and variable interest rates have eased living costs for households with a mortgage. Consequently employee households had the lowest annual increase of 2.6 per cent amongst the household groups.”

In the September 2021 quarter prices rose for automotive fuel (+7.1 per cent), furniture (+3.8 per cent) and property rates and charges (+3.3 per cent). Partially offsetting the rises this quarter were price falls for fruit (-8.3 per cent) and clothing and footwear (-3.8 per cent).

Weighted average of eight capital cities, All groupsJun Qtr 2021 to

Sep Qtr 2021

% change

Sep Qtr 2020 to

Sep Qtr 2021

% change

Selected Living Cost Indexes (LCIs) – Household type:
Pensioner and Beneficiary LCI (PBLCI)0.52.7
Employee LCI0.62.6
Age Pensioner LCI0.62.6
Other Government Transfer Recipient LCI0.32.7
Self-funded Retiree LCI 0.72.9

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