10 Feb 2022

Household cost of living in Aotearoa rises 5.2% - Stats NZ

8:49 pm on 10 February 2022

The rising cost of living has hit the biggest spenders the hardest, according to new data.

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Stats NZ's quarterly Household Living-costs Price Indexes (HLPI) reached the highest level since the series started in 2008 for most the household groups surveyed.

The average annual increase for all households was 5.2 percent, which compared with a 5.9 percent rise in the consumer price index (CPI) for 2021.

The CPI measures rises in prices for a basket of goods and services as a measure of national inflation.

However, when the cost of living for specific household groups was calculated there has been a turnaround in which group was bearing the greatest pain of rising prices.

The highest spending households had a 5.4 percent rise in their living costs as they faced higher prices for petrol, mortgage payments, and second-hand motor cars.

"Highest-spending households spend 7.3 percent of their expenditure on interest payments, compared with 4.6 percent for the average household. This means the highest-spending households experience the price increase more than others," consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.

The middle-spending and middle-income household groups were also at 5.4 percent, higher than any other household groups.

Previous surveys have shown those on fixed incomes, such as beneficiaries and superannuitants, the hardest hit by inflation.

Superannuitants saw a 5.2 percent increase in living costs, in line with the average, while beneficiary households had the lowest rise in costs at 4.8 percent.

"Beneficiary households typically spend a smaller proportion of their expenditure on petrol and interest payments when compared to the average household," Dewbery said.

Māori households experienced an annual living-cost increase of 5.3 percent.

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