Bulletin – March Quarter 2014 Inflation and the Cost of Living Abstract

This article looks at increases in the cost of living for Australian households over the past decade. Inflation as measured by changes in the consumer price index (CPI) overstates ‘true’ increases in the cost of living due to a number of inherent conceptual differences and measurement issues. Even so, other measures of the cost of living have increased by a similar amount to the CPI over the past decade. Measured inflation has been higher for some households and socio-economic groups than for others, though the differences have generally not been large and have tended to even out over time. Although cost-of-living inflation has been moderate across most households, there are a number of reasons why some households might have perceived inflation to be higher than it actually was.

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