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Price check: cost of living update around Australia

Australians are all too aware of the rising cost of living. We’re seeing hefty price increases for many of the things we want or need, which in turn is having a direct impact on our everyday lives.

While we’re generally paying more for goods and services, it’s not necessarily all bad news either. Certain things are actually getting cheaper – or at least remaining relatively stable – in some parts of the country.

So with prices in a state of flux, we’re here to help you budget better with a price check across the capital cities – based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Consumer Price Index for the March 2022 quarter.


We know all about the price hikes for fuel and vegetables in particular. Even without the widespread coverage reminding us of the situation, one only needs to fill up the car or shop for their weekly meal ingredients to experience this hit first hand.

But various factors including supply chain disruptions are driving up costs for other things too. These are some you might notice…

Hot beverages

Enjoy your daily caffeine? Unfortunately, a 7.4 per cent national price increase over the past year for tea, coffee and cocoa means your favourite hot beverages are probably burning a hole in your wallet.

Food, glorious food

Beyond fruit and vegetables (up 6.7 per cent from the previous year), the cost of most food and non-food grocery products has also been soaring. For example, bread and cereal products (3.0 per cent), meat and seafoods (6.2 per cent), dairy and related products (4.1 per cent), non-alcoholic beverages (6.7 per cent), and non-durable household products (8.0 per cent) have all experienced a significant annual change.

Recreation and culture

Recreation and culture is close to our hearts, but we’re afraid to reveal prices in this category have increased 3.0 per cent on average across the eight capital cities – predominantly due to domestic holiday travel and accommodation, but also price rises for pet food and premium recreational items like boats and caravans.


Thankfully not everything has gone up in price everywhere. Some items are now cheaper in some areas, while others have seen mixed results around the country.

Overseas trips

The year-on-year cost of international holiday travel and accommodation (-11.3 per cent) appeared to fall from the sky, but it’s worth noting that higher than normal prices for things like airfares in 2021 played a part in the eventual drop back down.

Clothing and footwear

Everyone needs appropriate clothing and footwear for each season, so it’s good to know the cost of these essentials has dipped by 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter – hardly a monumental saving, but certainly better than going in the other direction.


People living in Sydney (-1.2 per cent) and Melbourne (-0.9 per cent) have experienced slight decreases in the cost of renting since the previous year. But outside of Australia’s two largest cities, rent has risen sharply – especially in Darwin (11.3 per cent) and Perth (9.7 per cent).