Technology is changing spending habits. People are spending more online to rent a taxi or a house for a night, and less on in-car satellite navigation and DVDs.
As a result of these changes in technology, the consumers price index (CPI) basket of goods and services used to measure inflation is changing after Stats NZ’s three-yearly review.
“More people are going online to buy shared ride services, such as Uber, and shared accommodation services, like home-rental operators Airbnb and BookaBach,” says Stats NZ senior manager prices, Jason Attewell.
“People are changing what they buy to keep up with changes in technology, and as a result, we’re removing several items from the CPI basket. These items are still available to buy, but New Zealanders just don’t spend as much on them.
“At the same time, we’re seeing increased spending on technology accessories like headsets and cellphone cases.”
Housing and food remain the most important items in the basket, accounting for almost half of people’s spending. Housing includes rent, new builds, and other house improvements. People are also spending more on craft beer and massages, so these are joining the CPI basket too.
“New Zealand used to be called a country of rugby, racing, and beer, but spending patterns are changing and Kiwis are increasingly keen on craft beer, body massages at beauty spas, and football club memberships.”
Stats NZ reviews the CPI basket of goods and services every three years to ensure it remains relevant. This is done by surveying people to find out what they spend their money on.