Cost of living returns to normal transmission

Inflation was higher than expected in the September quarter, following the biggest decline in 89 years during the previous period when childcare was free and the cost of petrol dropped almost 20 per cent.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.6 per cent in the September quarter after a 1.9 per cent drop in the June quarter.

Other than childcare, the most significant price rises were: petrol (up 9.4 per cent), preschool and primary education (up 11.1 per cent), furniture (up 6.4 per cent), major appliances (up 5.3 per cent) and small appliances (up 5.8 per cent).

The figures showed uneven inflation around the nation, with prices in coronavirus-stricken Melbourne only 0.9 per cent higher but up 2.3 per cent in Brisbane and Canberra.

Transport costs rose in all capital cities as global fuel demand partially returned and production fell.

The overall inflation figure is well below the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target band of 2 to 3 per cent.

The biggest cost-of-living increase was experienced by single self-funded retirees who own their home (+1.6 per cent), followed by single homeowners who receive a full or part Age Pension (+1.5 per cent) and self-funded couples and homeowners who receive a full or part Age Pension (+1.4 per cent). Single renters who receive an Age Pension experienced a 1 per cent increase and couple renters a 0.9 per cent increase.

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