Tuesday 5 May 2020

Tobacco excise and living costs at the bottom

Māori and beneficiary households feel the greatest impact from higher cigarette prices
30 April 2020, 10:45am

Higher cigarette and tobacco prices hit Māori and beneficiary households the most in the March 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

Each quarter, the household living-costs price indexes calculate how inflation affects different groups in society, while the consumers price index (CPI) measures price changes for New Zealanders as one group.

Prices for cigarettes and tobacco rose 11 percent in the CPI this quarter as the annual tobacco tax rise took effect on 1 January (see Higher inflation in March quarter).

“The cost of cigarettes and tobacco was one key contributor to inflation for all household groups,” consumer prices manager Sarah Johnson said.

“Māori and beneficiary households felt the effect of this rise more than the other household groups we measured, partly because cigarettes and tobacco made up a greater proportion of their expenses.”

Cigarettes and tobacco made up more than 4 percent of all expenses for beneficiary and Māori households, compared with less than 3 percent for all households as a group.
Broader inflation of course is not looking all that strong currently - for those of us who don't smoke anyway. 

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