The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2 per cent in the December quarter 2012, compared with a 1.4 per cent rise in the September quarter 2012, the ABS reported.

The most significant price rises in the December quarter 2012 were for domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+6.2 per cent), automotive fuel (+2.6 per cent) and rents (+0.8 per cent).

This was partially offset by price falls in vegetables (–5.7 per cent), audio, visual and computing equipment (–4.3 per cent) and pharmaceutical products (–3.5 per cent).

According to Margy Osmond, Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) CEO, retailers are helping keep the prices low across the sector.

“Retail remains in heavy discount mode, working hard to ensure there are great bargains out there to keep shoppers coming in-store. Food and non-alcoholic beverages increased only 0.3 per cent from the same period in 2011, clothing and footwear only 0.6 per cent – compared with health (increased 7.7 per cent) and education (up 6.1 per cent) there is little movement in retail prices,” she said.

“Retail is doing its bit to take the pressure off the cost of living for Australian families, despite increasing business costs.”