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Stats NZ is set to introduce a more extensive monthly price index in the middle of the upcoming month, aiming to provide a more comprehensive overview of price inflation. This new metric, known as the Selected Price Index (SPI), will amalgamate the prices of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, gasoline, diesel, domestic and international airfares, and accommodation services with the existing food and rent price indices.

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The primary objective of the SPI is to offer a more up-to-date assessment of household prices. It is important to note that the SPI does not intend to supplant or replicate the quarterly Consumer Price Index (CPI), which provides a broader perspective on price inflation.

According to Stats NZ’s General Manager, Jason Attewell, the SPI will furnish a more current analysis of household prices, which is particularly significant during a period of elevated inflation, both in New Zealand and globally. Timely indicators of the evolving cost of living are crucial for all New Zealanders and for institutions such as the Reserve Bank and Treasury, which collaborate with Stats NZ.

Approximately 44% of the weighted prices in the CPI are represented by the prices encompassed in the SPI.

The monthly SPI will encompass the following components:

  1. All the data currently included in the food price index.
  2. All the data currently included in rental price indices.
  3. New monthly data for the alcoholic beverages and tobacco category, retroactively available from June 2011.
  4. New monthly data for gasoline and diesel (excluding fuel discounts), retroactively available from June 2011.
  5. New monthly data for domestic and international airfares, retroactively available from June 2015.
  6. New monthly data for accommodation services, retroactively available from June 2017.

The inaugural SPI release is scheduled for November 14th.

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