Affluent and Constrained Couples experienced the biggest cost-of-living rises in the past year (+1.4 per cent) and in the June quarter (+0.8 per cent). Least affected in the past 12 months were Cash-Strapped Couples and Singles (+0.4 per cent), followed by Affluent Singles (+0.7 per cent) and Constrained Singles (+0.6 per cent).
The June quarter saw inflation pick up after a flat March quarter.
The biggest increases were in automotive fuel (+10.2 per cent), medical and hospital services (+2.6 per cent) and international holiday, travel and accommodation (+2.7 per cent). The biggest falls were in fruit (-4.1 per cent) and electricity (-1.7 per cent).
Petrol prices were pushed up by rising world oil prices and a weakening Australian dollar. Fuel prices have been volatile in recent quarters and were responsible for the biggest fall in the March quarter.
The key factors affecting June quarter living costs for Affluent Couples (+0.8 per cent) and Singles (+0.7 per cent) were the increase in medical and hospital services, driven by the annual increase in private health insurance premiums, and increased international travel and transport costs.
Cost-of-living rises in the June quarter for Constrained Couples and Singles were 0.8 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively, while Cash-Strapped Couples and Singles were least affected (0.4 per cent).
Constrained Couples were affected more than Constrained Singles, primarily in the health and transport sectors. Constrained Couples spend the largest proportion of their income on health and transport – even larger than Affluent tribes and much more than Constrained Singles.
Cash-Strapped tribes were least affected because a big proportion of their spending goes on utilities, where there were falls in electricity prices and food.
The Australia Institute chief economist Matt Grudnoff
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