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Special Note: Household inflation expectations (H1)

View all Special Notes related to Household inflation expectations (H1).

Updates to Household inflation expectations table

12 August 2022

The H1: Household inflation expectations table shows household inflation expectations data that was previously published as the M13: Household inflation expectations table. The M13: Household inflation expectations table has been relabelled as the H1: Household inflation expectations and moved from the ‘Economic Indicators’ section to the ‘Households’ section of the ‘Tatauranga – Statistics’ area of the RBNZ website. 

The data on this table is sourced from our Tara-ā-Whare - Household Expectations Survey. We currently publish two other tables which show data from that survey - H2: Housing and employment and H3: Cash Use. This change means all web tables produced from the Tara-a-Whare - Household Expectations Survey will be grouped together and found in the same place.

There are no changes to the data or the frequency of publishing.

Due to a technical issue, the ‘Median’ and ‘Mean’ figures published for ‘Expected inflation rate 5 years’ ahead’ for the March 2022 and June 2022 quarters were flipped around the wrong way for the webpage view only. The ‘Household inflation expectations - M13 (1995-current)’ excel spreadsheet and other reporting outputs on the webpage were unaffected by this issue. We apologise for any inconvenience.


New data from Tara-ā-Whare Household Expectations Survey available on H2 and H3 tables

9 June 2022

As well as adding new time series to our H1 table, we have published new data for Q1 and Q2 2022 from our refreshed Tara-ā-Whare Household Expectations Survey on our brand new H2 and H3 tables.

H2: Housing and Employment includes the following time series:

  • Mortgage worry 3 months ahead (mean)
  • Mortgage worry 3 months ahead (median)
  • Rent worry 3 months ahead (mean)
  • Rent worry 3 months ahead (median)
  • Housing investment behaviour
  • Direction of earnings 12 months ahead
  • % change in earnings 12 months ahead (mean)
  • % change in earnings 12 months ahead (median)
  • Chance of losing job 12 months ahead (mean)
  • Chance of losing job 12 months ahead (median)
  • Chance of finding new job in next 3 months (if current job lost) (mean)
  • Chance of finding new job in the next 3 months (if current job lost) (median)

View Housing and employment (H2)

H3: Cash Use:

  • Importance of saving
  • Paying for everyday things
  • Cash use in past 7 days
  • Ease of getting cash out
  • Ease of depositing cash
  • Cash stored

View Cash use (H3)

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]


Changes to H1 series and March quarter 2022 correction

19 May 2022

Correction to March 2022 quarter data

The RBNZ has corrected household inflation expectations data for the March 2022 quarter, published on 18 February 2022.

This survey is one small part of our basket of tools for understanding inflation expectations. Recent improvements mean that this survey adds to the overall strength of our toolkit, but we have a broad range of measures available, enabling robust decision making processes.

How did the error happen?

The error was caused by incorrect treatment of outliers and classification of responses, as we transitioned to our redeveloped survey. Removing outliers is a standard statistical method of removing unusually high or low results.

What we did about the error

The RBNZ is an open and transparent organisation and corrects errors as soon as practicable. The lessons learned from this error will be used to guide future process improvements, analysis, and checks on our survey results.

The RBNZ regrets the error and apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Series Previously published Revised
Perception of current inflation – median 5.7 5.9
Perception of current inflation – mean 6.1 6.5
Expected inflation 1-year – median 5.4 5.0
Expected inflation 1-year – mean 5.8 6.3
Expected inflation rate 5-years – median 2.7 3.0
Expected inflation rate 5-years – mean 2.1 3.3
Expected house price inflation 1-year – median 5.1 5.0
Expected house price inflation 1-year – mean 5.1 5.7

Changes to household inflation expectations series

New data from the Reserve Bank’s Tara-ā-Whare Household Expectations Survey is now available.

From Q2 2022, we have created the following new time series:

  • Expected inflation rate 2-years (median)
  • Expected inflation rate 2-years (mean)
  • Expected inflation rate 5-years (median)
  • Expected inflation rate 5-years (mean)
  • Net percent expecting higher inflation – derived
  • Net percent expecting inflation
  • Expected house price change 5-years (median)
  • Expected house price change 5-years (mean)

We have revised the following series back to 2011:

  • Net percent expecting higher house prices

We have discontinued the following time series:

  • Expected inflation 5-years (median)
  • Expected inflation 5-years (mean)
  • Net percent expecting higher inflation
New series for 2-year ahead inflation rate expectations

Additional questions were added to the survey in March 2022 allowing the RBNZ to make more data publically available. The new 2-year ahead inflation expectations series will complement the 2-year ahead expectations series for business leaders and professional forecasters.

New series for 5-year ahead expected house price change

New series have been added that measure respondents expected 5 year cumulative change in house prices in their region. This adds to our existing one year ahead house price inflation expectations series by allowing us to see expectations in the long term.

New series for 5-year ahead inflation rate 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.

By specifying an annual rate for a defined period we have reduced the likelihood of households estimating cumulative inflation over a 5 year period.

This represents a break in the time series for medium-term inflation expectations, therefore, these results should not be directly compared with previous quarters.

We have discontinued the 5-year ahead expected inflation series and replaced them with new series for 5-years ahead expected inflation rate to recognise this change in question wording. 

New series for net percent expecting higher inflation

We have changed the way we ask respondents for their inflation expectations. From March 2022, we ask respondents whether they expect inflation or deflation in the next 12 months, whereas we previously asked respondents whether they expect inflation will increase, decrease, or stay the same over the next 12 months. The change was designed to improve reporting of the key 1-year ahead inflation median and mean estimates.

The series ‘net percent expecting higher inflation’ has now been discontinued.

We are publishing an alternate, derived series called ‘net percent expecting higher inflation - derived’. This series is constructed using respondent estimates of current inflation compared with their estimates for inflation in 12 months. 

Revision of net percent expecting higher house prices

We have recalculated the series for net percent expecting higher house prices back to the start of the time series in 2011 to take into account respondent’s weights. Whereas previously inferences could only be drawn about the sample, now inferences can be drawn about the whole population.

This recalculation has only led to a minimal change in the numbers seen in this series.

For more information on the survey please refer to the background notes and the series description.


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.