CPI basket gets a refresh
DVD players and sat-navs have been dismissed, while ridesharing, craft beer and massages are in.
Statistics New Zealand has announced the outcome of its triennial review of what goes into the theoretical ‘‘basket of goods’’.
The review will see petrol price changes less important, while the cost of restaurant meals and readyto-eat food will be more influential.
Designed to match the changing nature of our spending habits, the basket is used as the basis for measuring household inflation, as the prices of the various items fluctuate.
The latest review underlines just how quickly the type of technology we use is changing.
Video and audio cassette recorders both appeared in the basket for more than two decades. But sat-navs, once popular devices for motorists, have been removed after just nine years, while Blu-ray DVD players are gone after just six years.
‘‘The CPI basket is really a reflection of New Zealand society and how it has changed over time,’’ Statistics New Zealand’s Jason Attewell said.
‘‘We added the electric lightbulb to the basket in the 1920s, televisions and record players in the 1960s, microwaves and car stereos in the 1980s, and MP3 players and digital cameras in the 2000s.
‘‘As these items go out of fashion they are removed from the basket.’’
Statistics NZ has added a range of goods and services, with the measurement of taxi fares now including the cost of ride-sharing services such as Uber.
‘‘Private accommodation rented from others’’ has been added, reflecting the effect of services such as Airbnb.
The beer category has been expanded to include craft beer, while subscriptions to football clubs have replaced subscriptions to bowls clubs. Body massages are also added to the basket.
In food, fresh herbs and olives are in at the expense of alfalfa sprouts and spring onions.
There have also been significant changes to the weightings of various items. Petrol, which has in recent years made up more than 5 per cent of the basket, will now account for less than 4 per cent, as relative spending on petrol drops.
Meanwhile, spending on restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food will be a larger proportion, as the influence of grocery spending is trimmed.
Easing those aches and pains is now considered an accepted part of our spending habits.
A fall in spending on DVD and Blu-ray players has cost them their place in the ‘‘basket of goods’’ used to calculate inflation.