Australia’s inflation rises due to surging housing and transport costs, Statistics Bureau reports

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27th September 2023 – (Sydney) The rate of inflation in Australia picked up pace in August, primarily driven by increasing housing and transport expenses, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Data released on Wednesday reveals that the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 5.2 per cent in the 12 months leading up to August, marking an increase from the 4.9 per cent recorded in the previous year up to July.

The ABS highlighted that a significant 7.7 per cent surge in transport costs and a 6.6 percent rise in housing prices between August 2022 and August 2023 were the primary contributors to the spike in the CPI. Meanwhile, food and non-alcoholic beverage prices experienced a 4.4 per cent increase during the same period, which is a slight decrease from the 5.6 per cent annual rise observed in July.

Michelle Marquardt, the ABS head of prices statistics, stated in a media release, “Food inflation continues to ease although differences remain across the food categories. Prices for bread and cereal products and dairy products have risen over 10 percent in the past 12 months, while fruit and vegetable prices are 8.3 percent lower compared to 12 months ago due to improved growing conditions.”

The data also showed that electricity prices rose by 12.7 per cent in August compared to the same period last year, while gas prices increased by 12.9 percent annually. Automotive fuel prices witnessed a 9.1 per cent rise between July and August, with an annual increase of 13.9 per cent.

Marquardt noted, “The annual movement for automotive fuel remains volatile, partly reflecting price changes from 12 months ago when automotive fuel prices fell 11.5 per cent in August 2022.”

The Australian federal government and central bank have established a target of maintaining annual CPI growth between 2 and 3 per cent. In August, the central bank projected that this target range would be achieved by late 2025.