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.

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