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Price Index News: July 2016

1.  Short stories

Regional indexes of CPI petrol prices now available 

This article introduces the broad-region indexes of petrol prices for the June 2006 to March 2016 quarters.

New house building prices up in Canterbury and Auckland

This article examines price movement for the purchase of newly built houses (excluding land) and housing rentals in Canterbury and Auckland regions.

2.  Working with others

Contributing to price measurement expert group

We recently participated in the May 2016 Meeting of the Group of Experts on Consumer Price Indices. The joint United Nations Economic Commission for Europe/International Labour Organisation meeting happens every two years at the United Nations in Geneva. The meeting provides a forum for participants to present and discuss topics relevant to consumer price indexes.

Household-group inflation: methods to combine expenditure patterns, a paper by our senior analyst Alan Bentley, was included in a session on CPIs for different population groups.

See the UNECE website for full agenda and the papers presented.

3.  Virtual papers

Journal of Official Statistics publishes article on FEWS index

We have been actively researching and developing new methods for price measurement from ‘big data’ for a number of years now. The Journal of Official Statistics recently published an article by senior researcher Frances Krsinich.

The FEWS index: Fixed Effects with a Window Splice describes how we can utilise the longitudinal nature of the data to produce price indexes, despite not having full information on product characteristics with which to explicitly quality-adjust the indexes. We are currently considering implementing this method in production – for supermarket scanner data, and for web-scraped online data from a range of retailers.

4.  Nuts and bolts

Price-adjusted expenditure weights

This article gives an overview on the use of price-adjusted expenditure weights, how they're used in the CPI, and how to interpret them.

5.  Making contact

Review of CPI and FPI supplementary tables

As part of our review of our current processes, we’ll no longer produce the long-term Excel time-series tables (the supplementary tables) for the monthly food price index release, and the quarterly consumers price index release.

Infoshare will still have all data contained in these tables.

Image, Infoshare image.

The following CPI analytical series will still be released in the information release tables:

  • 4.01 Consumers price index, purchase of housing class, selected regions – index numbers and percentage changes
  • 4.02 Consumers price index, actual rentals for housing subgroup, selected regions – index numbers and percentage changes
  • 5.01 Consumers price index, percentage of prices that were discounted in quarter
  • 5.02 Consumers price index, average quarterly percentage price change of items that were discounted in quarter
  • 8. Consumers price index, all groups and selected groups – index numbers and percentage changes, by region.

The final releases containing the FPI and CPI supplementary tables will be the June FPI and the June quarter’s CPI.

Contact Matt Haigh on 04 931 4862 if you have any questions or comments.

6.  Development updates

CPI rolling review: update 2015/16

As part of our work to ensure the CPI remains relevant and up-to-date, we undertake rolling reviews between our three-yearly updates of the CPI basket and weights.

We continue to review our postal survey collections to ensure prices are collected efficiently and continue to be relevant. This will ensure the collections meet the needs of our customers, stakeholders, and suppliers in the best way.

We continue to work with key stakeholders and suppliers to review our methods for collecting electricity and childcare information.

We are also reviewing the sample sizes across our suite of surveys to ensure they accurately represent price change in their relevant industry. Refreshed samples for health services and trades (electricians, plumbers, and painters) are being tested in the June 2016 quarter, alongside the current sample.

New samples for solicitors and real estate fees will be tested during pricing for the September quarter CPI. The new survey data will be progressively implemented into the CPI over the next couple of quarters following quality assurance processes.

For more information on this CPI rolling review for 2015/16 contact:
Katrina Dewbery or Alan Bentley
Wellington 04 931 4600 or 0508 525 525

7.  Release dates

Price index release calendar for the next three months

July 2016

13 July:        Food Price Index: June 2016

18 July:        Consumers Price Index: June 2016 quarter

August 2016

3 August:      Labour Market Statistics: June 2016 quarter

11 August:    Food Price Index: July 2016

17 August:    Business Price Indexes: June 2016 quarter

September 2016

1 September:  Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices and Volumes): June 2016 quarter (provisional)

13 September: Food Price Index: August 2016

This issue of Price Index News was issued on 6 July 2016.



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