What you’ll find in a 1960 Aussie shopping basket

The crowd at the Adelaide Myer summer sale in 1960.

THE 1960s were a simpler time.

Shoppers would pop down to the corner store for a pound of mutton, a girdle and some indigestion powder, and as far as the Australian Bureau of Statistics was concerned, beer only came in two varieties — bottled or draught.

This year marks nearly six decades since the ABS released the first edition of the consumer price index (CPI), an ongoing measure of the prices of a selected basket of goods and services used to calculate the change in cost of living.

As the composition of Australia’s economy evolves and consumer habits change over time, the basket of goods is updated, with some things removed and others added in. The last major review of the CPI took place in 2010, but the ABS says there are “regular reviews” in which “minor changes made to reflect changes in the consumer economy”.

Recently, the UK’s statistics agency sparked headlines when it dropped nightclub entry fees from its CPI bas…

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