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Historical background to the producers price index

This chapter outlines the main changes we have made to the producers price index (PPI) since it was first published.

In 1920 the Department of Statistics first published a forerunner to the PPI, the wholesale price index. It was not until 1978 that coverage of the index was expanded and a PPI was published as the general price index. We changed the name to producers price index in 1981, and many reviews have since been completed.

The following list outlines the major historical milestones for the PPI as development steps by date.

Jan 1975: The Inter-departmental Committee on Statistical Needs and Priorities recommended redeveloping the existing wholesale price index.

Jul 1978: We first published the PPI under the name of general price index, with indexes for the index reference quarter of December 1977 and the March 1978 quarter. Some indexes, for example, construction outputs and finance, insurance, property, and business services outputs, were not completed at this time. Initially, we carried out all calculations manually.

Aug 1981: We changed the index name from general price index to producers price index.

1982–88: We carried out the first review for all industry indexes in the PPI.

1996–98: We carried out a second rolling review for all industry indexes in the PPI. The PPI also changed from the New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (NZSIC) to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 1996 (ANZSIC96).

2004–10: We carried out a rolling review to supply national accounts with updated product breakdowns, and to review the entire set of PPI output industry indexes.

May 2011: We implemented a new industrial classification (ANZSIC06). This included implementing the 2006 National Accounts Commodity Classification (NA06CC) level within the PPI hierarchical structure. We linked the PPI representative commodities to the NA06CC level and then used 2008 national accounts supply and use data to weight these NA06CC commodities by industry. We published the first PPI release with this new structure in May 2011, for the March 2011 quarter.

Jul 2011: We started a rolling review in which industries are being reviewed every three, six, or 12 years (subsequently changed to every four, eight, or 12 years).

Jan 2015: We completed a review of the scope and purpose of the PPI, resulting in 17 recommendations, six of which involved change. We began introducing these changes from the March 2015 quarter. See Review of scope and purpose of the producers price index for more information.

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