Thursday, April 21, 2005

No mutton, thanks

From today's Globe and Mail

Here's how Canada's consumer price index has evolved over the past 92 years.

1910s

First index compiling prices paid by "workingmen in cities" appears in 1913. It features fuel, lighting and rent, as well as 29 food items such as mutton, lard, vinegar spirits and just two kinds of fruits.

1940s

Statisticians delete women's woollen hosiery, woollen panties and a shave in a barber shop from the list. They add margarine, chocolate bars, women's girdles, ice and household help.

1950s

Bologna is removed from the index. So are laundry bar soap, men's overalls and radio licences. The index now includes doughnuts, instant coffee, electric sewing machines and plane fares.

1960s

Lard, coal and men's hats dropped from CPI. Doctors' fees are removed with the start of medicare. More frozen foods are added, along with stereo combinations, parking costs and boats.

2002

Internet service providers and bank service fees are added. DVD rentals replace VHS rentals. Prices in Iqaluit are tracked. This month, MP3 portable players, recordable DVDs appear for the first time.

The complete article can be found here

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