Bill Bennett


Hot cross bun inflation

When I was in primary school we sang about the price of a Hot Cross Bun. They are “one a penny, two a penny”.

In those days, Britain still used pounds, shillings and pence. So, depending on which part of the nursery rhyme you subscribe to, the price of a hot cross bun was either 1d or 1/2d.

There were 240 old fashioned pennies to the pound. Which means the lower price hot cross bun would be 0.2p in modern British currency. Or around 0.4 New Zealand cents.

Yesterday I picked up a packet of hot cross buns in an Auckland Baker’s Delight store. The price per bun was $1.80.

In round numbers that’s 450 times the price of the nursery rhyme bun.

Mind you, it took a long time. According to Wikipedia, the nursery rhyme originated in 1798. That’s 214 years ago.

By my, admittedly rusty, school maths*, that represents an annual inflation in the price of hot cross buns of around 1.1 percent.

Did I go wrong anywhere with this?

  • This is the formula I used: i = ( FV / PV) (1/n) -1