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ABS Releases Latest Consumer Price Index Statistics

the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)  has released the latest statistics on The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which shows it rose 0.6% in the March quarter 2014, following a rise of 0.8% in the December quarter 2013.

The most significant price rises this quarter were for tobacco (+6.7%), automotive fuel (+4.1%), secondary education (+6.0%), tertiary education (+4.3%), medical and hospital services (+1.9%) and pharmaceutical products (+6.1%). These rises were partially offset by falls in furniture (-4.3%), maintenance and repair of motor vehicles (-3.3%), international holiday travel and accommodation (-2.4%) and domestic holiday travel and accommodation (-2.4%).

The tobacco price increase was caused by the federal excise tax rise from 1 December 2013 as well as the March 2014 biannual indexation based on the ABS’ Average Weekly Ordinary Times Earnings (AWOTE) rate.

Education prices have risen with the commencement of the new school year.

Rises for medical and hospital services and pharmaceutical products were a result of the cyclical reduction in the proportion of patients who qualify for subsidies under the Medicare Benefits Scheme and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at the start of each calendar year.

The CPI rose 2.9% through the year to the March quarter 2014, following a rise of 2.7% through the year to the December quarter 2013.

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