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Consumers price index review: 2011
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  10 October 2011

CPI Review 2011  –  Media Release

“We have completed a review of the goods and services in the consumers price index (CPI) basket,” Statistics NZ’s prices manager Chris Pike said today. The review, which also updates the relative importance of the goods and services in the basket, will be implemented when we publish the reweighted CPI for the September 2011 quarter on 25 October 2011.

Three-yearly reviews of the CPI are done to ensure the basket remains relevant and up-to-date. The previous review was implemented in 2008.

The CPI basket of representative goods and services was reselected to ensure it continues to reflect household spending patterns. As part of the latest review, goods added to the basket include tablet computers, external computer hard drives, e-books, and flatbread. Services added include alarm monitoring and delivery charges. Goods removed from the basket include unflued gas heaters, dictionaries, and envelopes.

The main source of information used for the review was the Household Economic Survey, which surveyed about 3,100 households to collect detailed information on households’ spending habits. The survey ran from July 2009 to June 2010.

Just before the survey ran, the economy emerged from a five-quarter recession. Consequently the 2011 CPI weights were affected by the economic situation at the time. There were decreases in the relative importance of the purchase of new housing, professional services associated with buying and selling houses, furniture, household appliances, and cars. The relative importance of food, rentals for housing, and electricity all increased.

Based on the household survey and other information, Statistics NZ estimates that of every $100 spent by households on goods and services covered by the CPI, $23.55 is spent on housing and household utilities, compared with $22.75 in 2008. This reflects increased spending on rent and higher electricity prices.

Food accounts for $18.79 of every $100 spent, compared with $17.83 in 2008. The increase reflects a 14 percent rise in food prices over the past three years.

Other groups declined in relative importance, including transport (down from $16.18 to $15.12 of every $100 spent), with lower spending on cars contributing to the fall.

Statistics NZ today released information on changes arising from the review. For more information and a full list of the goods and services added to or removed from the CPI basket, read the paper Consumers price index review: 2011

Geoff Bascand 10 October 2011
Government Statistician
END

For media enquiries contact:
Chris Pike
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

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