Australian Economy

The big change coming to Australian inflation after Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe laughed at

How Reserve Bank boss getting LAUGHED at on the world stage will radically change Australia’s economy

  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics is trialing a new monthly inflation data series
  • Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe laughed at in Zurich over quarterly figures 
  • A monthly consumer price index will be released from October 26 this year
  • This will complement the release of quarterly inflation data going back to 1949
  • The petrol excise tax is climbing back to 44.2 cents a litre on September 28 

Australia’s inflation data will soon be collected every month instead of every quarter after the Reserve Bank boss was laughed at in Switzerland.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced it is trialing a new monthly consumer price index (CPI), with a new paper to be published on Tuesday.

Australia’s chief statistician David Gruen said this would help the government adopt timelier responses to major price shocks, with inflation surging at the fastest pace in three decades.

‘This new monthly CPI Indicator will provide a timelier guide to inflation in Australia,’ he said. 

‘The monthly CPI Indicator can provide an earlier guide to inflation developments, particularly in times of significant change.’

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Australia's inflation could soon be collected every month instead of just every three after the Reserve Bank boss was laughed at in Switzerland. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced it is trialing a new monthly consumer price index (pictured is a Coles supermarket in Sydney)

Australia’s inflation could soon be collected every month instead of just every three after the Reserve Bank boss was laughed at in Switzerland. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced it is trialing a new monthly consumer price index (pictured is a Coles supermarket in Sydney)

Historic inflation data

JUNE 2022: 6.1 per cent

JUNE 2001: 6.1 per cent

DECEMBER 1990: 6.9 per cent

JUNE 1990: 7.7 per cent 

MARCH 1990: 8.7 per cent

JUNE 1987: 9.3 per cent 

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe was laughed at when he told a conference at Zurich, Switzerland in June that Australia only had official inflation data released every three months.

‘The other thing that’s different – and this is a bad difference – is our CPI is only available quarterly,’ Dr Lowe said.

‘Yes, you laugh as well.’

The United States, UK and Canada publish monthly inflation data but Australia and New Zealand still only release quarterly inflation data.

Australia’s quarterly ABS series dates back to 1949. 

But from October 26, a monthly consumer price indicator will be published alongside September quarter inflation data.

Australia’s headline inflation rate in the year to June surged by 6.1 per cent, the steepest pace since 1990 when the one-off effect of the GST introduction in 2000 and 2001 was taken out.

Both Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Australia are expecting inflation to hit a 32-year high of 7.75 per cent by the end of 2022 and remain above the RBA’s 2 to 3 per cent target until 2024.

Russia’s Ukraine invasion in February caused average petrol prices to surge above $2 a litre for the first time ever. 

In the March budget, former Liberal treasurer Josh Frydenberg responded by halving fuel excise to 22.1 cents a litre for six months, at a cost of $3billion ahead of the May election.

But his Labor successor Jim Chalmers won’t be extending the cut, which means that from September 28, excise is rising back to 44.2 cents a litre. 

Commonwealth Bank senior economist Belinda Allen said a return to the old excise tax rate would see petrol prices climb by nine per cent, with average bowser prices of $2 a litre predicted for October 2022 to June 2023.

Ms Allen said that while petrol prices increased by 32.1 per cent in the year to June, she expected the September quarter inflation data to show a 5 per cent decline in retail fuel costs, mainly covering the period before excise went up again.

In June Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe was laughed at when he told a conference at Zurich, in Switzerland, that Australia only had official inflation data released every three months

In June Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe was laughed at when he told a conference at Zurich, in Switzerland, that Australia only had official inflation data released every three months

Sydney’s average unleaded price this week has fallen to 162.7 cents a litre, compared with Melbourne’s 165.8, Brisbane’s 163.1, Adelaide’s 173.7, Perth’s 160.3, Hobart’s 189, Darwin’s 195.8 and Canberra’s 196.1 cents a litre.

CommSec, the Commonwealth Bank’s online share trading arm, estimates an average family spends $243 a month to fill up their car, well below the recent record high of $297.50 a month in March. 

But it still costs $21 a month more compared with the start of 2022, prior to Russia’s invasion.

Commonwealth Bank senior economist Belinda Allen said a return to the old excise tax rate would see petrol prices climb by nine per cent, with average bowser prices of $2 a litre predicted for October 2022 to June 2023

Commonwealth Bank senior economist Belinda Allen said a return to the old excise tax rate would see petrol prices climb by nine per cent, with average bowser prices of $2 a litre predicted for October 2022 to June 2023

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