PCs are one of the best deals out there, according to CPI

A day does not pass by without hearing someone bang on about the constantly increasing costs of living, and usually we'd agree that we're all being done over in one form or another.

According to the Grandma Index (GI), all price tags have indiscriminately been adding more and more digits, and as we'll show, this doesn't always apply to all goods however, as the relatively unknown Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows.

The Consumer Price Index is a measure by which individuals and governments estimate the average change over time in the prices of consumer goods and services purchased by households. A simple CPI calculation could give a fairly accurate estimate of the relative cost of a currently traded consumer good and/or technology in a specific year in history. In other words, if a high end business laptop costs $1500 ($1573 USD) today, CPI figures allow interested parties to calculate how much a consumer would pay for the same technology package back in 1982. According to the statistics showcased in this resourceful infographic, such a computer would cost $18000 ($18,879 USD) in 1982.   

The Grandma Index (GI) has taken into account how computer prices have changed over the years all over the world. According to data, the relative cost of computers has decreased significantly over the years, whereas most consumer goods and services have seen significant increases in their relative costs. The above infographic presents this interesting fact in the starkest and clearest terms possible. It uses a currently traded Dell Inspiron computer package priced at $849 ($890 USD) as an example for a currently traded good and provides an estimate for how much the same technology package would cost in March 1982.

Utilizing official CPI figures, it is estimated that the same Dell Inspiron package would cost a whopping $10,358 ($10,863 USD) in 1982. The helpful illustration goes further by listing a few examples of non-electronic goods and their relative costs over the last two decades. Clearly, computer technology and electronics became cheaper and cheaper over the years whereas a packet of cigarettes has seen skyrocketing cost that have been reflected onto the consumers.

The infographic concludes with a handy map that informs interested Aussies of the current price tags for the aforementioned Dell Inspiron package in different locations in Australia. Computer costs have been in a downward trend for a long time. Given the above context, one can be confident that almost all computer deals are good deals.

Data Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

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