In my constant hunt for new data sources, I made my way to the OECD data portal – a great resource. I wanted to check up on some PPP’s for a project I’m doing and I noticed a new series sitting around called “monthly comparative price levels”.
It allows you to compare how much you have to spend in your own currency to buy a certain amount of goods in another country – effectively for a New Zealander it shows how much you would spend in NZ$ to buy a bundle of goods in another country, where this bundle of goods cost $100NZ in New Zealand.
The series only appears to have shown up on March 8, and there is a single month – January 2012. However, as this series builds up it is going to be very interesting. Even the data for the single month was very very interesting.
For example, it currently takes $100NZ to buy $100NZ worth of stuff in the United Kingdom … so relative price levels in NZ and the UK are bang in line. Not a result I expected at all.
It also shows that things are all very expensive in Aussie, and very cheap in the USA – very much in line with current thinking.
The PPP’s used in this series are consumption PPPs (rather than GDP PPPs), which means that these relative price levels are very much set up to help us compare consumption bundles (in the same way that growth in CPI is meant to allow us to understand growth in the underlying price of consumer goods).
No-one else may care, but I figured I’d note this down here so I can remember to come back to it later 😉