The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello


11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 23/01/2002


Consumer Price Index - December Quarter 2001

The All Groups CPI increased by 0.9 per cent in the December quarter 2001, and 3.1 per cent through the year to the end of calendar 2001.

The 0.9 per cent increase in the December quarter follows an increase of 0.3 per cent in the September quarter and the outcomes so far in the financial year are consistent with Budget forecasts. The large increase in fruit and vegetable prices in the December quarter should be temporary and a return to more favourable seasonal conditions should result in fruit and vegetable prices easing over coming quarters.

In the December quarter, price increases occurred across the majority of items, with seasonal and one-off factors playing an important role. Price rises were recorded for fresh fruit and vegetables (up 10.2 per cent, as a result of adverse seasonal conditions and some supply shortages), domestic holiday travel and accommodation (up 7.7 per cent, driven by responses to the demise of Ansett as well as seasonal increases), meat prices (beef and veal prices rose 5.5 per cent boosted by continued world demand for Australian produce), clothing and footwear (up 1.4 per cent driven by new season fashions) and house purchase prices (up 1.1 per cent on strong demand and record low interest rates).

Petrol prices again declined significantly in the December quarter, by around 3.7 per cent, on the back of falls in global oil prices. This follows the decline in petrol prices of 8.3 per cent in the September quarter. Over the past year, petrol prices have declined by 12.2 per cent.

In addition to petrol, price declines were recorded across a range of goods and services in the December quarter including pharmaceuticals (down 4.8 per cent), gas and other household fuels (down 4.2 per cent) , and audio visual and computing equipment (down 1.6 per cent ).

Today's outcome does not alter the outlook for inflation to be within the target band in 2001-02, and nor does it change the fact that Australia's economy has continued to weather the current global weakness very well, and is expected to be one of the world's top-performing economies in 2002.

23 January 2002