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DVD players go the way of the dodo in South Africa’s new CPI basket

DVD players go the way of the dodo in South Africa’s new CPI basket
(Image: Adobe Stock)

South Africa’s consumer price index basket has been updated to include items that are gaining in popularity and exclude those that have lost their relevance. This includes the DVD player, which has followed the VHS recorder into the dustbin of history.

CPI is a key economic indicator and it’s important to get it right. So the index has periodic upgrades to reflect current consumer trends and tastes.

“In the most recent update… the CPI basket will now contain 415 items, up from 404 in 2016. A total of 14 new items were added, while two items were removed from the basket. Some products were either split into two or combined into one,” Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said.

DVD players and satellite dishes are the two items that have been removed — something that was probably long overdue. 

Gin is among the items added — a reflection of its growing popularity as a trendy beverage. Cappuccino sachets have also been placed in the basket, along with samp, printer cartridges and printer paper.  The inclusion of jam is curious — is it really that popular and if so, why has it not been included before? “Internet usage” has been split into two categories — wired and wireless. 

Cannabis products will make a worthy inclusion if the government ever gets around to a sensible policy of legalisation.

The exercise comes against the backdrop of mounting concerns about accelerating inflation in South Africa and globally. This underscores the importance of getting its measure in an accurate manner. 

A basket that included DVD players and not gin was clearly missing the mark. DM/BM

 

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