When the consumers price index (CPI) for the June 2014 quarter was released on 16 July 2014, the official CPI time series became 100 years long.
To mark this milestone, a range of historical information about consumer prices has been digitised and is now available on these pages. This information dates back to the early 1900s.
This information – including CPI advisory committee reports, CPI review reports, expenditure weights, lists of goods and services in the basket, and average retail prices for selected goods and services – provides interesting insights into a century of economic and social change.
Historical reports and publications have been scanned and their text recovered using optical character recognition. The text is fully searchable to a reasonably high standard.
The image files of the scanned pages are relatively large, so downloading them may take some time.
We’ll continue to add further information to these pages over time.
The average retail prices and expenditure weights have been manually re-entered into Excel spreadsheets. If you find any errors or have feedback about these pages, please contact:
Wellington 04 931 4600 or 0508 525 525
The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services households purchase. Household spending patterns change as tastes, lifestyles, and incomes change, and as the range of goods and services available changes.
The CPI basket of representative goods and services is reviewed periodically to ensure it continues to reflect household purchases. The expenditure weights allocated to the basket of goods and services are also reviewed periodically, to ensure they continue to reflect the relative importance of goods and services that households acquire for consumption.
Historical CPI baskets and weights are available in downloadable spreadsheet format.
Statistics NZ publishes average retail prices of selected items as part of the monthly food price index (FPI) and quarterly CPI information releases. These are available on Infoshare from the June 2006 month and quarter onwards.
Historical CPI and FPI average prices are available in downloadable spreadsheet format.
Reviews of the CPI are undertaken periodically to ensure the index remains up-to-date and relevant. CPI reviews cover:
- updating what’s in the CPI basket of representative goods and services
- updating the expenditure weights of goods and services in the basket
- reviewing and updating the methods and practices used to compile the CPI.
When each CPI review is implemented, a report which outlines these changes is generally published. CPI review reports are available in downloadable, searchable PDF format.
In line with International Labour Organization guidelines, we appoint advisory committees to undertake independent reviews of the methods and practices used to compile the CPI and make recommendations for change.
The first ‘modern’ CPI advisory committee was appointed in 1948, and committees have also been convened in 1971, 1978, 1985, 1991, 1997, 2004, and 2013.
Each committee's recommendations are set out in a published report. These historical reports are available in downloadable, searchable PDF format.
During the early 1900s, there were inquiries and studies into consumer prices and the cost of living. The reports of these studies are available in downloadable, searchable PDF format.
Files can be accessed from the pages outlined above, and from a list of all available downloadable files.
This page has links to a range of contemporary CPI-related information and resources, including research papers, international best practice guidelines, and sources and methods documents.
Search for more information.
If you have problems viewing the files, see opening files and PDFs.
Published 16 July 2014