Household inflation expectations (M13)

This data represents New Zealanders' expectations of future inflation and house prices compared to current perceptions.
Released
18 February 2022 03:00 p.m.
Next release
19 May 2022 03:00 p.m.
Source
Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Periodicity
Quarterly
Perception of current inflation Expected inflation 1-year Expected inflation 5-years Net percent expecting higher house prices Expected inflation house prices 1-year
Date (Median) (Mean) (Median) (Mean) (Median) (Mean) (%) (Median) (Mean)
Previous years:
Mar 2020 1.7 2.3 2.2 2.6 3.0 3.7 73.9 4.0 4.6
Mar 2021 1.7 2.5 2.2 2.9 3.0 4.3 81.4 6.0 6.4
Quarterly:
Jun 2021 2.2 3.2 2.2 3.4 4.0 4.8 62.4 4.0 4.7
Sep 2021 3.0 3.1 3.0 3.8 4.0 5.1 72.9 5.0 5.5
Dec 2021 3.0 3.7 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.6 70.5 5.0 5.3
Mar 2022 5.7 6.1 5.4 5.8 2.7 2.1 61.9 5.1 5.1

The data: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness

Coverage characteristics

From March 2022 quarter data is sourced from Research NZ’s nation-wide online standalone survey.

Between September 2018 quarter to December 2021 quarter data is sourced from UMR Research’s nation-wide online omnibus survey.

Between December 2008 quarter to June 2018 quarter data is sourced from UMR Research’s nation-wide telephone omnibus survey. 

The data until September 2008 is sourced from ACNielsen's Marketscope telephone omnibus survey.

Periodicity

Quarterly

Timeliness

Data is released around the end of the second month of the reference quarter.

Access by the public

Statistics release calendar

The Statistics Release Calendar provides a long-term plan of scheduled releases. It is updated and released on the first working day of the month.

View the Statistics Release Calendar.

Integrity

Provision of information about revisions and advance notice of major changes in methodology

Data is not revised.

Series breaks occur at the December 2008, September 2018 quarter, and February 2022 quarter, due to changes in the sample. 

The ACNielsen sample was 1000, and included the 15-17 age group, all future samples excluded this age group. The UMR Research telephone sample is 750 and the online sample is 1000. The Research NZ online sample is 1000.

The break in February 2022 is a result of questionnaire wording changing and the use of a more precise estimation technique. For inflation estimates respondents are asked for a point estimate, when previously this was asked in the form of different range categories. Please see the series description for further detail. 

Quality

Dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources used in preparing statistics

Interviews are carried out by online survey, with one person per household.

Prior to the September 2018 quarter, interviews were carried out by telephone, with one person per household. Telephone numbers were randomly generated within known Telecom ranges.

Individual respondent answers are weighted so as to replicate the demographic characteristics of a fully national sample.

Dissemination of statistics that support statistical cross-checks and provide assurance of reasonableness

The Reserve Bank receives a confidential report based on the aggregated responses. Key survey results are published on the RBNZ website.

The RBNZ Household Expectations Survey has been redeveloped in Q1 2022 to improve data quality and coverage, and better align with international best practice for capturing household inflation estimates.

We have renamed the improved collection Tara-ā-Whare - Household Expectations Survey. The word “Tara” is derived from Pakitara, or the walls, and “Whare” means a house. Tara-ā-Whare is also used to describe going to door to door, to ask questions. This survey is run by an external survey provider on behalf of The Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Respondents are asked questions relating to their expectations of CPI inflation, house prices, and the broader financial system.

The data from 1995 through to September 2008 is sourced from ACNielsen's Marketscope telephone survey of 1000 people aged 15 years and over. Between December 2008 and July 2018 the survey is sourced from UMR Research’s nationwide omnibus telephone survey of 750 people aged 18 years and over. Between July 2018 and January 2022 the survey is sourced from UMR Research’s nationwide omnibus online survey of 1000 people aged 18 years and over. From January 2022 the survey is sourced from Research NZ’s nationwide online standalone survey of 1000 people aged 18 years and over.

We are satisfied that the effect of the sample differences on the survey results is minor, but the following two factors should be kept in mind when interpreting movements in figures between the December 2008/March 2009 results and previous surveys. (1) The smaller sample implies a slightly higher margin of error in the survey results (±3.6% at the 95% confidence level). (2) Although a relatively small subgroup, the 15-17 age group has tended to have higher expectations than the full sample mean. However, our tests have shown the exclusion of this group has negligible impact on the figures.

Survey content:

From Q1 2022 we have improved the questionnaire wording and we are now using a more precise estimation technique.

The most impactful wording change is to medium-term inflation expectations. In this question we now ask for expectations of an annual inflation rate in a specified time period (of 12 months) 5 years from now, whereas previously we asked for expected inflation in 5 years’ time.

The ‘before and after’ survey comparison below also illustrates the move to ‘point’ estimates, rather than categorical. Respondents are now asked for their estimate of a specific inflation rate, whereas they were previously asked to choose from a range of pre-defined categories.

The following questions are asked from Q1 2022:

A. Inflation

1. Current inflation perceptions:

Overall, in the last 12 months, do you think there has been inflation or deflation?

That is, the price of goods and services (i.e. the price of the ‘basket’) increased or decreased.

Please select one option

  1. Inflation (the price of the ‘basket’ has increased overall)
  2. Deflation (the price of the ‘basket’ has decreased overall)

As a percentage, what do you think has been the rate of inflation/deflation in the last 12 months? Use whole percentages and/or parts of percentages to tell us. If you’re not sure, a good guess will do.

2. Expected change in short term inflation:

First of all, in the next 12 months (from month, year of survey date to month, year of survey date + 12 months), do you think there will be inflation or deflation?

Please select one option

  1. Inflation (the price of the ‘basket’ will increase overall)
  2. Deflation (the price of the ‘basket’ will decrease overall)

3. Short-term expected inflation:

As a percentage, what do you think will be the annual rate of inflation/deflation in the next 12 months? Use whole percentages and/or parts of percentages to tell us. If you’re not sure, a good guess will do.

4. Expected change in medium term inflation:

Thinking further out into the future now. Do you think there will be inflation or deflation five years out from now (i.e. from month, year of survey date + 48 months to month, year of survey date + 60 months)?

Please select one option

  1. Inflation (the price of the ‘basket’ will increase overall)
  2. Deflation (the price of the ‘basket’ will decrease overall)

5. Medium-term expected inflation

As a percentage, what do you think will be the annual rate of inflation/deflation in the 12 months from (month, year of survey date + 48 months) to January (month, year of survey date + 60 months)? Use whole percentages and/or parts of percentages to tell us. If you’re not sure, a good guess will do.

5. Expected short-term change in house price inflation:

In the next 12 months, do you think the average price of houses in your region will:

Please select one option

  1. Increase overall
  2. Stay about the same
  3. Decrease overall

6. Expected short-term house price inflation:

As a percentage, how much do you expect average house prices will increase/decrease in the next 12 months, in your region. Use whole percentages and/or parts of percentages to tell us.

If you’re not sure, a good guess will do.

The following questions were asked prior to Q1 2022:

A. Inflation

1. Current inflation perceptions:

Statistics NZ provides the official measure of inflation (the consumer price index (CPI)). What do you think inflation was over the last year (i.e. the annual change in the CPI)?

  1. -10% to -0.1%
  2. 0.0% to 0.4%
  3. 0.5% to 0.9%
  4. 1.0% to 1.4%
  5. 1.5% to 1.9%
  6. 2.0% to 2.4%
  7. 2.5% to 3.4%
  8. 3.5% to 4.4%
  9. 4.5% to 5.4%
  10. 5.5% to 6.4%
  11. 6.5% to 7.4%
  12. 7.5% to 8.4%
  13. 8.5% to 10.4%
  14. 10.5% to 15.4%
  15. More than 15.5%
  16. Unsure/no estimate

2. Expected change in short term inflation:

Over the next twelve months what do you think will happen to inflation?

  1. Inflation will increase
  2. Inflation will stay the same
  3. Inflation will decrease
  4. Unsure

3. Short-term expected inflation:

Please give your estimate of inflation in a year’s time.

  1. -10% to -0.1%
  2. 0.0% to 0.4%
  3. 0.5% to 0.9%
  4. 1.0% to 1.4%
  5. 1.5% to 1.9%
  6. 2.0% to 2.4%
  7. 2.5% to 3.4%
  8. 3.5% to 4.4%
  9. 4.5% to 5.4%
  10. 5.5% to 6.4%
  11. 6.5% to 7.4%
  12. 7.5% to 8.4%
  13. 8.5% to 10.4%
  14. 10.5% to 15.4%
  15. More than 15.5%
  16. Unsure/no estimate

5. Medium-term expected inflation

Please give your estimate of inflation in five years' time.

  1. -10% to -0.1%
  2. 0.0% to 0.4%
  3. 0.5% to 0.9%
  4. 1.0% to 1.4%
  5. 1.5% to 1.9%
  6. 2.0% to 2.4%
  7. 2.5% to 3.4%
  8. 3.5% to 4.4%
  9. 4.5% to 5.4%
  10. 5.5% to 6.4%
  11. 6.5% to 7.4%
  12. 7.5% to 8.4%
  13. 8.5% to 10.4%
  14. 10.5% to 15.4%
  15. More than 15.5%
  16. Unsure/no estimate

5. Expected short-term change in house price inflation:

In a year's time do you think house prices in your region will…

  1. Increase
  2. Decrease
  3. Stay the same
  4. Unsure

6. Expected short-term house price inflation:

By what percentage do you think house prices in your region will have increased/decreased?

  1. 0.0% to 0.4%
  2. 0.5% to 0.9%
  3. 1.0% to 1.4%
  4. 1.5% to 1.9%
  5. 2.0% to 2.4%
  6. 2.5% to 3.4%
  7. 3.5% to 4.4%
  8. 4.5% to 5.4%
  9. 5.5% to 6.4%
  10. 6.5% to 7.4%
  11. 7.5% to 8.4%
  12. 8.5% to 10.4%
  13. 10.5% to 15.4%
  14. More than 15.5%
  15. Unsure/no estimate

Series for net percent expecting higher inflation discontinued

25 February 2022

As part of our redevelopment of the household expectations survey, we changed the way we ask respondents for their inflation expectations. The change was designed to improve reporting of 1-year ahead inflation estimates. However, the figure published for the series ‘net percent expecting higher inflation’ was not comparable to previous quarters, which we did not make clear in our publication on 18 February. This figure has now been removed from the series.

In future, we plan to publish an alternate, derived series for ‘net percent expecting higher inflation’ in a new table. The new series will begin from Q1 2022 and will not be directly comparable to the previous quarters.

The Reserve Bank apologises for any inconvenience or misinterpretation this may have caused to users of this data.


Improvements to household expectations survey

18 February 2022

The RBNZ Household Expectations Survey has been re-developed in Q1 2022 to improve data quality and coverage, and better align with international best practice to capture household inflation estimates.

We have renamed the improved collection Tara-ā-Whare - Household Expectations Survey. The word “Tara” is derived from Pakitara, or the walls, and “Whare” means a house. Tara-ā-Whare is also used to describe going to door to door, to ask questions. The survey is being run on behalf of RBNZ by a new survey provider, Research NZ. The survey remains an online survey with 1000 New Zealanders aged 18 years or older.

Additional questions have been added to the survey, and the new data will be added to the existing set of tables in future. There have also been changes in the way respondents are asked for their expectations. Previously, respondents were given pre-defined categories when asked for expectations, but from Q1 2022 they are now asked for a specific number or ‘point’ estimate.

Series break for 5-year ahead inflation expectations

We have improved the way we ask for medium-term CPI inflation expectations. We now ask for expectations of an annual inflation rate in a specified time period (of 12 months) 5 years from now, whereas previously we asked for expected inflation in 5 years’ time.

The RBNZ is very confident that the new inflation expectations data are a better representation of households’ estimates. By specifying an annual rate for a defined period we have reduced the likelihood of households estimating cumulative inflation over a 5 year period.

As a result of this improvement, reported 5-year ahead inflation expectations are now substantially lower. This represents a break in the time series for medium-term inflation expectations, therefore, these results should not be directly compared with the previous quarters.

In future, 5-year ahead inflation expectations from Q1 2022 onwards will be shown in a new table to represent the series break.

For more information please refer to the background notes.

Symbols and conventions for summary table

0 Zero or value rounded to zero
- Not applicable
.. Not available
bold Revised/new
italics Provisional
light red background Historical

General notes

  • Individual figures may not sum to the totals due to rounding
  • Percentage changes are calculated on unrounded numbers
  • You are free to copy, distribute and adapt these statistics subject to the conditions listed on our copyright page.