How Computers Got Cheaper But Apples Cost More

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the April-June 2012 quarter, the price of computers fell over the last three months — but fruit and vegetables went up in cost. What's going on?

Picture by Suvodeb Banerjee

The 3.8 per cent drop in audio, visual and computing equipment was the second-biggest in the categories tracked to calculate the CPI, beaten only by travel (4.0 per cent). Vegetables topped the list with a 5.2 per cent rise, while fruit went up by 3.8 per cent.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), "the rise in vegetable and fruit prices was mainly due to cooler weather conditions with rain and flooding affecting crops in the eastern states". Looks like I picked a bad for a vegetable-heavy budget diet. No comments from the ABS on the computing category, though ongoing price falls in this area aren't unusual.

The overall CPI rose 0.5 per cent in the June quarter, and has gone up 1.2 per cent year-on-year. One point for drivers to note: average fuel costs are the lowest they have been in a year, as you can see in the chart below:



    You can no doubt add Woolies and Coles price fixing and farmer bullying antics to the cost of...well, pretty much everything!

    Nice title- am I the only one that thought it meant that computers in general got cheaper, but Apple computers became more expensive?

      Nope, Same here, I thought that somehow apple might of been charging more than 300% mark-up just for a apple sticker on products.......

      Wait a minute.......

      same here - I read the link and thought "yeah, you're damned right they have! I can't bel---- oh. APPLES."

      same here, mostly cause I have kotaku and gizmodo opened in a tab as well as lifehacker.

    This is a weird article. First of all it's comparing fruit and vegetables to electronics, and then shows a graph showing prices of fuel, that's strange enough.

    But why are they being compared in the first place?

    It seems to me that the changes in the fruit and vegetable market would be completely different from changes in the computer and electronics field.

    In fact I would go as far as to say they would have very little effect on each other.

    I'm wondering if this atricle was actually written to write the words "computers got cheaper but apples cost more" in the headline.


      I think "it's like comparing apples and oranges" just got an updated saying.

        We need a follow-up article on the price of Apple products compared to oranges. With a graph of cheese prices.

      That certainly was my impression. I read the article and was confused because there was no mention of iMacs...

    Don't tell me I'm going to have to eat Macs now.

    CPI is pretty meaningless. It is based on a standard basket of goods which must have absolutely no bearing to what I spend, because my lifestyle costs are going through the roof while CPI is ticking along at a fairly low number.

    Lies, damn lies and the other thing....

      So Daniel you don't eat, drink, use transport, wear clothes, pay for a roof over your head, use electricity, enjoy any sort of entertainment, have insurance, pay for a haircut, purchase goods or services? How's commenting about Gizmodo articles via public libraries going for you?

        That's not what I'm saying.

        CPI is based on a standard basket of goods. it assumes that the average household uses 3 loaves of bread, 50 litres of petrol and so on in a given week. These are just averages, but in the past it has worked OK, because prices went up by similar values across the board. In a given year petrol might have gone up by 6% and bread by 4% so the average of say 5% was a fair representation. CPI after all was measuring the change in monetary value not the relative cost of things.

        What we have no is a little different. Some things are getting much more expensive (mainly essential items like housing, transport and food) and other things are getting very cheap (big screen TVs and computers).

        The differences between the standard basket of goods and any given household's real basket of goods now make a very big difference. I'm not even sure how many households come close to the standard basket. Most people I know have had their lifestyle costs skyrocket whilst CPI sits at a measly 1.2%.

    Sorry matey, you don't really get CPI, here is the link...[email protected]/Lookup/6401.0Explanatory%20Notes1Jun%202012?OpenDocument

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