The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.3% in the 12 months to November primarily due to a rise in housing (+6.6%), transport (+5.9%) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (+4.6%) and insurance and financial services (+8.8%).

“This month’s annual increase of 4.3 per cent is down from the 4.9 per cent rise in October and is the smallest annual increase since January 2022.” Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics said.

New dwellings and rents

In the twelve months leading up to November, the cost of new homes increased by 5.5%.

While the rate of price growth has eased steadily since the 21.7% recorded in July 2022, the annual movement was higher this month compared to the 4.7% annual movement in October. This increase reflects higher labour costs and material costs remaining elevated.

On the other hand, rental prices increased by 7.1% in the same twelve months, up from 6.6% in October.

Electricity and Gas

Electricity prices rose 10.7% in the 12 months to November 2023, up from a rise of 10.1% in October. Gas and other household fuel prices rose 12.9% in the 12 months to November 2023, slightly down from a rise of 13.0% in October. The rise in utility prices continue to reflect an increase in wholesale prices from annual price reviews in July 2023. 

Energy Bill Relief Fund rebates introduced from July 2023 reduced electricity bills for concession households in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra and for all households in Brisbane and Perth.

Rebates for newly eligible households in Melbourne were introduced in November 2023.

Electricity prices have risen 8.8 per cent since June 2023. Excluding the Energy Bill Relief Fund rebates, Electricity prices would have increased 19.0 per cent over this period.

The following graph shows the Electricity series including and excluding government electricity rebates.

June 2022, index = 100
a) Introduction of the WA $400 household electricity credit
b) Introduction of the ACT $50 rebate for concession households
c) Introduction of the QLD $175 Cost of Living rebate
d) Introduction of the TAS $119 Winter Bill Buster electricity credit
e) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund (EBRF) for concession households in NSW, SA, TAS, NT and ACT, and for all households in QLD and WA. Introduction of additional ACT $50 rebate for concession households.
f) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund for concession households in VIC
g) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund for newly eligible households in in NSW, SA, TAS, NT and ACT.
h) Introduction of the Energy Bill Relief Fund for newly eligible households in in VIC.

Automotive fuel

Automotive fuel prices rose 2.3% in the 12 months to November, down from a rise of 8.6% in October and the recent high of 19.7% in September 2023. In monthly terms, Automotive fuel prices fell 0.5% in November, following a fall of 2.9% in October. The easing of Automotive fuel prices was driven by softening in crude oil prices in recent months.

Inflation is critical in determining the pace and extent of interest rate changes by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Why is the CPI being released monthly now?

The ABS began publishing a new monthly rolling series of CPI as inflation surged in 2022. The more comprehensive quarterly data set considers a broader range of items to calculate CPI.

The next release will be for December 2023 on 31 January 2024.