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Baskets and weights

The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services that households purchase. Household spending patterns change as tastes, lifestyles, and incomes change, and as the range of goods and services available changes.

The CPI basket of representative goods and services is reviewed periodically to ensure it continues to reflect household purchases. The expenditure weights allocated to the basket of goods and services are also reviewed periodically, to ensure they continue to reflect the relative importance of goods and services that households acquire for consumption.

Historical CPI baskets and weights are available in downloadable Excel format.

Consumers Price Index basket and weights 1914–2011

Historical CPI baskets and weights have been collated into the following spreadsheet. Information relating to each periodic review has been organised into individual worksheets. 

Baskets and weights, 1914–2006  (Excel, 3MB)

Corresponding information on baskets and weights for more-recent CPI reviews is available here:

The following list summarises CPI basket and scope changes, based on the current classification’s group structure.

Food

  • Food was included from 1914 (when the series started).
  • Confined to staples until 1949, when restaurant meals, confectionery, and soft drinks were added.
  • Seasonal fruit and vegetables were also included from 1949.
  • The value of home-produced fruit and vegetables was included from 1949.
  • The value of home-produced fruit and vegetables was excluded from 1974.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco

  • Tobacco was included from 1914.
  • Beer for consumption on licensed premises was included from 1955.
  • Beer for consumption off licensed premises was included from 1965.
  • Wine and spirits were included from 1974.

Clothing and footwear

  • Clothing and footwear were included from 1924 and the series was recalculated back to 1914.

Housing and household utilities

  • Electricity, gas, and solid fuels were included from 1914.
  • Housing rentals were included from 1914.
  • From 1949, a ‘use’ conceptual framework was used, with a weighting pattern based on actual or notional consumption.
  • Home ownership was added in 1949. A ‘user-cost’ approach was adopted, incorporating depreciation, return on capital, repairs and maintenance, local authority rates, and dwelling insurance.
  • Fees associated with the purchase and sale of dwellings (such as real estate agent and conveyancing fees) were included from 1965.
  • From 1974, an ‘expenditure’ approach was adopted. In practice, this combined elements of the ‘acquisition’ and ‘payment’ conceptual frameworks. The new approach to measuring home ownership included the purchase of new and previously occupied dwellings, the purchase of residential sections, expenditure on alterations and additions to existing dwellings, land, interest payments on new mortgages, repairs and maintenance, local authority rates, and dwelling insurance.
  • From 1980, there was fuller netting of house purchases/sales (which led to a lower weight), but the weight on mortgage interest was increased to cover all mortgages existing in the weight reference period.
  • From 1974 until 1993, prices of both previously occupied and new dwellings were tracked. From 1993, prices of only new dwellings were tracked (this aligned more closely with the weight allocated to home ownership, which represented the value of the net increase in the stock of owner-occupied housing during the weight reference period).
  • From 1999, an ‘acquisition’ conceptual framework was formally adopted. Mortgage interest payments and the purchase of residential sections (land) were removed from the scope of the index. An analytical ‘all groups plus interest’ series remains available.
  • From 2006, a new method was adopted for estimating the weight for home ownership (which led to a lower weight). The method better reflected the falling rate of home ownership.

Household contents and services

  • Household utensils, crockery, and furnishings were included from 1924 and the series was recalculated back to 1914.
  • Furniture was included from 1949.
  • Household appliances were included from 1949 (refrigerators from 1955).

Health

  • Health services and supplies were included from 1949.

Transport

  • Train and tram fares were included from 1924 and the series was recalculated back to 1914.
  • Bus fares, taxi fares, and cycle parts were included from 1949.
  • Cars, vehicle servicing, petrol, and cycles were included from 1955.
  • Domestic airfares were included from 1974.
  • International airfares (prepaid in New Zealand) were included from 1980.
  • Overseas package holidays (prepaid in New Zealand) were included from 2006 (previously they had been represented by international airfares).

Communication

  • Postage and telegrams were included from 1930.
  • Telephone services were included from 1955.
  • Internet services and mobile phone services were included from 1999.

Recreation and culture

  • Recreational and cultural services were included from 1949.
  • Sports and recreation goods were included from 1955.
  • Television sets were included from 1965.
  • Holiday accommodation costs were included from 1974.
  • Subscriber television services were included from 1993.

Education

  • Education services were included from 1974.

Miscellaneous goods and services

  • Cosmetics were included from 1949.
  • All types of credit services were grouped together from 1993.
  • Interest payments were removed from the scope of the index from 1999. An analytical ‘all groups plus interest’ series remains available.
  • All types of insurance were grouped together from 2006 (rather than with the goods being insured) and a change was made from weighting based on gross insurance premiums to weighting based on insurance service charges (premiums less claims).
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