Consumers Price Index - March Quarter 2020

The Consumers Price Index (CPI) is an indicator or measure of prices changes. It is a fixed weighted average of price relatives and is computed using the Laspeyres price index formula. The current weighting pattern is based on the 2005 Household Expenditure Survey (HES), which was carried out in  2005/06. The HES information was used to select the 'basket', which is the commonly used term for the goods and services prices for the purpose of compiling the CPI.

Key Facts

Quarterly change

In the March2020 quarter compared with December 2019 quarter, the consumer price index (CPI) was 0.19 percent with the Underlying CPI of 0.21 percent.

  • Miscellaneous goods and services group rose by 0.72 percent driven by household demand on personal care and cleaning products to stock due to the COVID19 panademic.
  • Food prices rose percent, influenced by increasing prices of meat (up 1.42 percent), vegetables (up 0.17 percent), bread and cereals (up 0.16 percent).
  • Communication rose 0.31 percent driven by costs in telephone equipments
  • Transport group also rose 0.21 percent with slightly higher cost in purchases of new and secondhand vehicles.
  • All these increase was offset by the fall in the Recreation and Culturegroup (68 percent) with cheaper audio and computer equipment.

Graph 1 March Quarter

Annual change

From the March 2019 quarter to the March 2020 quarter, the CPI inflation rate was 0.64 percent with the Underlying CPI of 1.34 percent.

  • Household contents and maintenance increased percent, with increase in prices for routine household maintenace.
  • Food prices increased percent, with fruits up percent and bread and cereals up 2.81 percent.
  • Recreation and culture group decreased percent, with Personal care goods and services down

Graph 3 March Quarter

More on Consumers Price Index...

Information about CPI

The Consumer Price Index covers price changes of the basket of goods and services consumed by all households on Rarotonga (the main island).

The base year is 2006. Prices are collected for 205 items and from selected outlets around Rarotonga. Individual prices are combined using weights from the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) conducted in 2004/5. The HES information was used to select the basket of goods and services.

The inclusion of an underlying measure is a recent improvement and it is published at the same time as the CPI. The underlying measure excludes items of a highly volatile nature, items that are subject to policy changes.

It excludes all locally produced fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, international airfares, mortgage interest, government rent, postal and telecommunication charges, electricity charges, tobacco and alcohol, petrol and diesel.

The CPI is computed using the Laspeyres price index formula


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