9 Oct 2014

New items in inflation basket

5:22 pm on 9 October 2014

Men's tracksuit bottoms and video cameras are out. But packaged leaf salad and frozen prawns are in.

These are just some of the changes to the basket of items that Statistics New Zealand uses to measure inflation.

The official statistician said 15 new items have been added to the consumers price index, while 12 have been removed.

Statistics New Zealand prices manager Chris Pike said most of the items that have been removed are because of declining spending.

It includes burglar and car alarms, car stereos, and even e-book readers, which Mr Pike said was because more people were using their mobile phones and tablets for reading.

Particle board, tennis racquets, squash club membership, and video game hire have all gone too.

In addition to packaged leaf salad and frozen prawns, Mr Pike said cider, property valuation services, plywood, spades, and pets have also been added to the basket.

Statistics New Zealand has also reviewed the relative importance of the basket of items in household spending.

Since the last review in 2011, Mr Pike said the relative importance of housing and household utilities had increased, reflecting increased spending on rent, property rates, and energy.

Mr Pike said household spending in this area has traditionally been the biggest area of spending, and people now spend $24 out of every $100 on average in this area.

The CPI is reviewed every three years to reflect what people spent their money on.

The changes will be implemented in the September quarter Consumers Price Index, which will be released on 23 October.

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