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Household Economic Survey Interviewing Starts

Household Economic Survey Interviewing Starts

Interviewing for the 2003/04 Household Economic Survey (HES) will begin on 25 June 2003 and will continue for a year, Statistics New Zealand announced today.

Approximately 3,000 households around New Zealand will be randomly selected to take part in the survey. The HES, which has been conducted since 1973, collects information on household income and expenditure, as well as a range of demographic information.

The information provided by each household contributes to the revision of the Consumers Price Index (measure of inflation) and the preparation of New Zealand's gross domestic product, and serves as an indicator of living standards.

Results from the last HES in 2000/01 showed that New Zealand households spent, on average, $758 per week, only 2 percent more in real terms than in 1995/96.

The HES can be used to look at changes in society, for example the growth in the number of households with cell phones.

Thirteen percent of households had at least one cell phone in 1995/96, compared with 58 percent in 2000/01.

Twenty-three percent of households owned more than one cell phone in 2000/01, up from just 1 percent in 1995/96. The survey data also provides an insight into spending behaviour.

In 2000/01, 80 percent of households reported expenditure on fresh fruit, 68 percent on health services, 12 percent on tonics and vitamin tablets, while more than half of households reported expenditure on chocolates.

The survey will run through to July 2004 and results will be available later that year.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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