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Statistics reveal a 7500% increase CPI in the past century

Statistics New Zealand has revealed just how much the price of goods in New Zealand have changed over the past 100 years.

In the past centaury, the country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen by 7500 per cent according to the statistics-gathering organisation.

The goods and services measured in CPI has changed markedly over the 100 years, reflecting the changes in New Zealand society says Statistics New Zealand’s Price Manager Chris Pike.

“In 1914 we collected prices for sago, tapioca, treacle, and tripe. Washing machines were added to the CPI in 1949 followed by refrigerators in 1955, televisions in 1965, and home computers in 1988.

“A basket of goods and services that cost £1 in 1914 would cost about $151 now if the prices of those goods and services had increased in line with the CPI.”

Over the past 100 years annual inflation has averaged 4.4 percent and peaked at 18.9 percent in 1987, the quarter after GST was introduced.

While the items measured in the CPI have changed over time, so have the quantities.

A century ago, 25-pound bags of flour and 56-pound bags of sugar were measured in the CPI – today both are measured as 1.5-kilo bags.

What do you think? Do you think the impact to the CPI will be higher than the expected 0.4%? Click here to vote in our subscriber-only business pulse poll.

Jason Walls is an AUT journalism student

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