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Mageu, tablet computers in inflation count

Nov 06 2012 15:20 Sapa, Reuters

Tablet computers will from January 2013 be included in the CPI basket. (AFP)

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Johannesburg - Mageu, feta cheese, hot chocolate and filtered coffee will form part of the CPI basket from January 2013, Statistics SA (StatsSA) said on Tuesday.

They would be among the list of goods and services used when calculating the consumer price index next year.

Items in the CPI basket are representative of the main categories of goods and services typically bought by households.

The changes to the basket indicated shifts in consumer choices.

Other products which would be included in the CPI basket from January next year were vodka, bricks and cement, energy-saving light bulbs, tablet computers, hair extensions, and package holidays.

Items leaving the CPI basket were samp, savoury biscuits, dried fruits and nuts, frozen vegetables, dried lentils and peas, and vienna sausages.

Presently, there were 402 items in the CPI basket. The new basket would have 393.

Stats SA price and employment statistics executive manager Patrick Kelly said: "Another significant change will be a basket for each primary urban area, secondary urban area, and rural area in each province."

At present, there was only one CPI basket for each province.

Kelly said one of the reasons for the change in the provincial basket was that there were goods and services consumed by people in urban areas, but not in the rural areas of the same province.

"It must be noted that the baskets reflect the pattern of residence rather than the point at which purchases are made."

There would also be changes in the weights of the items in the basket. All indices would be rebased to 100. The new base would be 2012, while the current base was 2008.

Kelly said there would be changes to the Producer Price Inflation index as of January 2013.

Meanwhile, Reuters reportsthat the weighting of electricity and fuels will almost double to 4.1% from the current 2.1%, reflecting a steady rise in electricity tariffs from state utility Eskom. Petrol will rise to 5.4% from 3.6%.

Household contents and services also dropped in weighting, to 4.9% from 6.1%.

Analysts said the changes would not make a marked difference to headline inflation, which quickened to 5.5% in September.
statistics sa  |  cpi  |  electricity  |  inflation
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