Consumer price index including housing costs receives temporary downgrade

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in News

The consumer price index including housing costs (CPIH) measure of inflation has been temporarily downgraded from its status as a National Statistic by the UK Statistics Authority.

The temporary de-designation was in response to a letter from National Statistician, John Pullinger (PDF), on the issue. Upon review of the way owner-occupiers' housing costs (OOH) are calculated (which makes up a vital element of the CPIH), he stated that the measure was not robust enough to meet the needs of users and to be in compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Pullinger said in his letter that after reviewing the accuracy of OOH there are likely to be implications for this series. He continued by saying: ‘Specifically, on the basis of preliminary findings, if we incorporated this new knowledge into the estimation of the OOH component in CPIH the annual rate of growth of CPIH could be approximately 0.2 percentage points higher in recent months than has been currently estimated'.

He recommended that CPIH be returned to ‘experimental status’ until mid-September when the downgrade will be reviewed. In his reply, Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said that he would await a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) before looking again at the issue.

The RSS supports the Authority's action to temporarily downgrade the CPIH. Roeland Beerten, RSS director of professional and public affairs, said: 'We believe these interventions provide a good illustration of the effective regulatory role of the UKSA, and we welcome the transparency of the de-designation process and the clear explanation of the reasons for the decision.'

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