New items on CPI

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Invercargill's Beauty and Beyond Urban Retreat owner Nicole Carter said it was great to see more people realising the holistic benefits of massage. Photo: Supplied

A REVIEW of what New Zealanders are spending shows the nation now spends about $100 million a year on massages, Statistics New Zealand consumer prices manager Matt Haigh says.

This follows a recent review of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a statistical estimate measuring changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by Kiwi households.

Invercargill’s Beauty and Beyond Urban Retreat owner Nicole Carter said it was great to see more people realising the holistic benefits of massage.

“We would estimate an increase of 25% in massage treatments over the past year,” she said.

Statistics New Zealand’s latest review of the CPI “basket” adds 15 new items to a basket of 701 items.

Statistics New Zealand prices senior manager Jason Attewell said the basket was a reflection of New Zealand society and how it had changed over time.

“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,” he said.

Co-organiser of Invercargill’s Hop ‘n’ Vine craft beer festival Chris Montgomery – who is also a member of Invercargill’s Queens Park Association Football Club – said he was not surprised craft beer was on the up with consumers.

“We know there is a demand for it… Consumer habits are changing and we need to keep up at a regional level.”

Mr Attewell said more people were also going online for shared accommodation services such as home-rental operators Airbnb and Bookabach.

Other newly included items were olives, flavoured tea and bicycle helmets, as well as accessories for cellphones such as headphones and cases.

Some items have been removed from the basket. Some of these include in-car satellite navigation systems, soft toys, prams and pushchairs, MP3 Players and DVD and Blu-Ray players.

Sewing machines were removed but clothing alterations were added.

Mr Attewell said people didn’t have as much time to do things themselves, but were prepared to pay others to do work for them.

Housing and food items continue to make up more than half of what went into the CPI basket.

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