New indices introduced to price inflation statistics

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in News

The March 2013 Consumer Prices Index (CPI) Bulletin includes two new measures of price inflation, CPIH and RPIJ.
CPIH is a new additional measure of consumer price inflation which takes into account owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH). For many owner occupiers, the biggest housing cost is the mortgage payment, which is currently excluded from the CPI. In addition, a supplementary aggregate for CPIH (called CPIHY), is also available in this month’s Bulletin.
RPIJ, on the other hand, is a Retail Prices Index (RPI) based measure that uses a geometric (Jevons) formula in place of one type of arithmetic formula (Carli). It was launched in January after the National Statistician, Jil Matheson, concluded that the RPI does not meet international standards. Since then, the Office for National Statistics has announced that the current RPI statistics will no longer be designated as National Statistics.
Both CPIH and RPIJ are currently designated as experimental statistics while they are being assessed for National Statistics status.
The RSS stresses that there is still more work to be done. ‘The introduction of these two new series should not be the end of the story,’ says Jill Leyland, former RSS vice president and member of its National Statistics Advisory Group. ‘Replacing the Carli formula by Jevons in order to create RPIJ does not preclude, for example, the need to introduce improvements to sample design and data collection methods in regard to  difficult sectors such as clothing. The ONS has had a major research programme looking into these issues and this must continue.’
The focus of the CPI Bulletin will be reviewed by the ONS after an assessment by the UK Statistics Authority of consumer price statistics is completed this summer (2013).
Further information on ONS consumer price statistics is published in the ‘Guide to Data’ section of this month’s CPI Bulletin.

Official Statistics Inflation

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