The RBA have an easy-to-read discussion of relative price trends in the Australian economy since 1993. Since the introduction of inflation targeting in that year overall inflation has been kept to around the centre of its desired range, about 2.5%. But some items have got relatively cheaper while other items have got much more expensive.
Manufactured goods prices have barely changed over the period (annual 0.1%). Cars, clothing and footware have all got cheaper – thanks China, tariff cuts and technological improvements – the latter obvious for such things as cameras and TV sets. The only manufacture that has got significantly more expensive are books and newspapers (3.6%). I still feel conflict when I have to set elementary microeconomics texts that cost over $100 per volume but which in the main mimic books written a decade or more ago ago. Eventually I hope to move all my students onto free online texts that will help put a stop to this extortion.
The items which have got distinctly more expensive are the things that dominate the Clarke family budget – food and beverages (3.9%), fuel (3.6%) and education costs (5.2%). Insurance costs have also grown strongly.
In the main it is discretionary items which have fallen in price while the essentials keep on increasing in price. Its probably why I experience increasing pressures on the family budget.