Cost of living goes up nearly 2 per cent in one year

The most recent price increases are not the ones you were expecting.

shopping just got more expensive

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the September quarter shows that on average, the cost of living has risen by 1.9 per cent from last year, outstripping the last increase to the Age Pension.

Releasing the latest data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that since the June quarter, the CPI has increased 0.4 per cent.

Surprisingly, the most significant price rises in the September quarter hit those with the travel bug. International holiday travel and accommodation was 4.3 per cent higher and domestic holiday travel and accommodation rose 2.4 per cent, outstripping the current inflation rate of 1.9 per cent.

In fact, many price increases in the past quarter outstripped the increase in the Age Pension passed on in September. At that time, the total pension for a single person rose just 0.96 per cent.

In the YourLifeChoices 2018 Retirement Matters Survey, you told us which costs were the most challenging to keep up with. Energy and health expenses featured high in the responses, but in the last quarter, these two costs have either fallen or plateaued.

The September 2018 Retirement Affordability Index details how elements of the cost of living are affecting retirement incomes, depending on which of the YourLifeChoices’ tribes you belong to.

The upcoming December 2018 Retirement Affordability Index is likely to draw a different picture as other cost-of-living categories feature more heavily in the CPI’s price increases. They include:

  • property rates and charges up 2.3 per cent, exceeding the current 1.9 per cent rate of inflation
  • fruit, up 2.4 per cent, also higher than inflation
  • food and non-alcoholic beverages, up 0.5 per cent
  • housing, up 0.4 per cent
  • recreation and culture, up 1.6 per cent
  • clothing and footwear, up 0.2 per cent
  • tobacco, up 1.8 per cent
  • petrol, up 1.4 per cent.

Price falls included:

  • furnishings, household equipment and services, down 1.2 per cent
  • health, down 0.4 per cent
  • communication, down 1.4 per cent
  • childcare, down 11.8 per cent

ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said: “Annual growth in the CPI fell back below 2 per cent in the September quarter.

“Modest rises in housing costs, including rents, utilities and property rates, and a fall in child care out-of-pocket expenses, saw a subdued rise in the CPI this quarter.”

Do you think you will be considerably affected by the latest CPI increases? If the last increase to the Age Pension was less than one per cent, do you think that the last quarter’s price rises have left you out of pocket?

To make the most of your money in retirement, first you need to know the rules. The RetirePlanner™ tool has all the information you need.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    1st Nov 2018
    I thought Alan Kohler announced the CPI was 1.8% for the September quarter last night but perhaps somebody can verify this for me.
    The whole 'official CPI' is nothing but a lie run by the government trying to keep a lid on a (coming) wages explosion. I can verify that out food bills have tripled in 15 years, that our rates have doubled in 10 years, that insurance costs have done the same, that fuel has now hit an all time high, that tradies and the cost of hardware have more than doubled in the past 10 years.
    1.8% inflation for the year? Tell it to somebody with single digit intelligence. EVERYTHING other than bank interest has gone through the roof and the fact that Australians have been cutting back like never before and still not coping says it all.
    3rd Nov 2018
    Agree Mick....these Stats are a travesty to anyone with a smidge of intelligence/nouse.
    1st Nov 2018
    Seeing as age pensions are indexed by PBLCI not CPI this should be no more than passing interest to most. However I am very aware that prices in the supermarket have risen faster than CPI, lets hope the PBLCI takes the increased prices into account. For instance in Woolies a 300ml Bulla cream has gone from $2 to $2.50, a packet of 8 beef sausages has gone from $5 to $5.50, a packet of magnum ice creams has increased from $8 to $8.50 and so on. These are what I noticed after my first shop after being away for 12 days.
    6th Nov 2018
    Went to the supermarket today and a sales person was nearby and I mentioned the item I was buying had gone up, he responded yes, everything is going up all the time. But I wonder why? Are there any regulators for this?

    1st Nov 2018
    What else can we expect under this incompetent, nincompoop Rightard government? The sooner the ALP gains government the better!
    3rd Nov 2018
    Think our food prices have nothing to do with current State or Fed govn'mt - the big supermkts just rip us all off by advertising their "specials" while increasing everything else.

    1st Nov 2018
    Our food bill has doubled in 5 years, partly due to having to feed growing grandchildren for 13 weeks each year, but also due to rapidly rising prices. Our petrol bill has gone through the roof as we have to travel extensively for health care. And now our local council is saying they have to increase rates by - wait for it - FORTY FIVE PERCENT! That will put our rates at well over $5500 per annum PLUS water and garbage fees.
    3rd Nov 2018
    Oh "com'on" OGR - we're lucky to be healthy enough to mind/keep up with our adorable grandkids, not cheap but probably cheaper than a Gym Membership & far more fun. They keep us fit/happy/healthy even tho' more expensiver than may have thought. Re your Council rates....Object/Object/Object (if have to). I only needed one e-mailed Objection when noticed my rates had increased by $190,000 in just past 2yrs. Love my 50yo home (our family home for 46yrs) but doubt it would now pass a building inspection as on 25% gradient slope (lovely views) & definitely showing signs that slowly moving down the hill. I can't afford to do any except urgent repairs as per leaking roof (done), new ducted cooling will be done next wk, falling 14m side & sloping embankment replacement (done), etc etc etc. Still not blissfully happy but got a $75,000 decrease (minimal re actual rate $ decrease) as knew it just wasn't worth $1M & don't have the funds to spruce up interior anywhere near 2day's "The Block" standards - will be eventually, when I die, sold for land price only. A win is a win....go for it.
    3rd Nov 2018
    Oh for "heaven's sake" YLC - pls stop all the "in-between go-to website ads" during our chats - so very distracting when just want to add to the discussion. Turns me off your site, not as pleasurable now.
    6th Nov 2018
    I agree, those in between things are using up my data allowance and taking up time to find the comments section.
    6th Nov 2018
    Surprised to see the cost of fruit going up, is it because we are exporting most of it?

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