The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.1 per cent in the March 2022 quarter and 5.1 per cent annually, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, Michelle Marquardt, said “The CPI recorded its largest quarterly and annual rises since the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).”
The most significant contributors to the rise in the March quarter CPI were new dwellings (+5.7 per cent), automotive fuel (+11.0 per cent) and tertiary education (+6.3 per cent).
The ABS has also reported notable rises across the food group (+2.8 per cent), reflecting high transport, fertiliser, packaging and ingredient costs, as well as COVID-related disruptions and herd restocking due to favourable weather.
Alcohol rose by 1.0 per cent for the quarter as prices returned from seasonal specials and with the excise tax increase for beer and spirits.
Main contributors to the rise in food prices included vegetables (+6.6 per cent), waters, soft drinks and juices (+5.6 per cent), fruit (+4.9 per cent) and beef (+7.6 per cent).
“The rise for the food group was softened by voucher programs in Sydney and Melbourne, which reduced out of pocket costs for meals out and takeaway foods. The grocery component of the group, which excludes meals out and takeaway foods, rose 4.0 per cent in the March quarter,” Ms Marquardt said.
The CPI rose in all eight capital cities, ranging from 1.7% in Sydney to 3.3% in Perth.