Living costs rise in line with inflation in September
Increased fruit and veggie prices and the housing bubble keep costs high.
The cost of living in Australia for most household types rose in line with the consumer price index (CPI) in the September quarter, according to the latest data.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its Selected Living Cost Index (LCI) for September 2016, revealing employee households living costs rose 0.5% as a result of increased costs related to food and non-alcoholic beverages (+1.6%), driven primarily by soaring fruit and vegetable prices.
Fruit prices rose a whopping 19.5% during the quarter, while the price of vegetables jumped almost 6%. The hike in costs were reportedly a result of adverse weather conditions, including floods in major growing areas, which impacted supply, according to the ABS.
Increased housing costs (+1.3%) also contributed to the gains in living costs, pushed up by higher electricity charges (+5.4%) and rising property rates. Greater wholesale electricity costs across the eastern and southeastern states forced prices up.
The biggest offset during the quarter was in insurance and financial services (-1.7%). This was spurred by a fall in mortgage interest charges after banks passed on the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) interest rate cuts in May and August.
Over the last twelve months the LCI for employee households rose 1.2% while CPI rose 1.3%.