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Brian Graf

Introduction 4.1 To construct a perfectly accurate consumer price index (CPI), the price statistician would need to record the price of every variety of all the goods and services that are in the scope of the CPI. Because it is too costly and, in practice, impossible to regularly record all the prices of the universe in a timely manner, sampling techniques are used to select a subset of prices that eventually enter the index compilation. Consequently, a CPI compilation is based on samples. 4.2 Sampling occurs on several different levels in the CPI

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determined by the respondent could be called the basic information level . It is, however, not necessarily the finest level of information that could be made available to the price statistician. One could always ask the respondent to provide more disaggregated information. For instance, instead of monthly data one could ask for weekly data; or, whenever appropriate, one could ask for regional instead of global data; or one could ask for data according to a finer commodity classification. The only natural barrier to further disaggregation is the individual transaction

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information has been executed, usually in a form that suits the respondent’s financial or management information system. This respondent determined level of information could be called the basic information level . This is, however, not necessarily the finest level of information that could be made available to the price statistician. One could always ask the respondent to provide more disaggregated information. For instance, instead of monthly data, one could ask for weekly data; or, whenever appropriate, one could ask for regional instead of global data; or, one could

Statistical Office of the European Communities, International Labour Office, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations, and World Bank

traditional design. The price statistician should seek the advice of an expert active in the field of renting domestic property, such as a housing corporation, to ascertain the most important rent-determining characteristics and should bear in mind the need to keep these to a manageable number. Weights information can be derived from the latest Housing Census or Census of Population and Housing. In practice this information may not be up-to-date due to the change in the owner-occupied housing stock which can occur in the time period between censuses. Where this is the case

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benchmarked and tested against the previous versions. Price statisticians may have more faith in some quality adjustment procedures than others. When such procedures are used extensively, it might be useful to note, as part of the metadata system, the degree of faith the statistician has in the procedures. Following Shapiro and Wilcox (1997b) this may be envisaged as a traditional confidence interval: the statistician believes at a 90 percent level of confidence that the qualityadjusted price change is 2 percent (0.02) with an overall width of 0.005, for example. There

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A. Problem of Seasonal Products 22.1 The existence of seasonal products poses some significant challenges for price statisticians. Seasonal commodities are products that are either (i) not available in the marketplace during certain seasons of the year or (ii) are available throughout the year but there are regular fluctuations in prices or quantities that are synchronized with the season or the time of the year. 1 A commodity that satisfies (i) is termed a strongly seasonal commodity , whereas a commodity that satisfies (ii) will be called a weakly

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A. Problem of Seasonal Products 23.1 The existence of seasonal products poses some significant challenges for price statisticians. Seasonal commodities are products that are either (1) not available in the marketplace during certain seasons of the year or (2) available throughout the year but there are regular fluctuations in prices or quantities that are synchronized with the season or the time of the year. 1 A commodity that satisfies (1) is termed a strongly seasonal commodity , whereas a commodity that satisfies (2) is called a weakly seasonal

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Introduction 22.1 The existence of seasonal commodities poses some significant challenges for price statisticians. Seasonal commodities are commodities which are either: (a) not available in the marketplace during certain seasons of the year, or (b) are available throughout the year, but there are regular fluctuations in prices or quantities that are synchronized with the season or the time of the year. 1 A commodity that satisfies (a) is termed a strongly seasonal commodity , whereas a commodity that satisfies (b) is called a weakly seasonal

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. This is, however, not necessarily the finest level of information that could be made available to the price statistician. One could always ask the respondent to provide more disaggregated information. For instance, instead of monthly data, one could ask for weekly data; or, when appropriate, one could ask for regional instead of global data; or one could ask for data according to a finer commodity classification. The only natural barrier to further disaggregation is the individual transaction level. 2 21.18 It is now necessary to discuss a problem that arises when

Brian Graf

derived from an HBS are available for rural as well as urban households it is generally better to use the weights for urban and rural households combined, even if price collection is limited to urban areas, as this will normally improve the representativeness of the index. But, where feasible, price statisticians should undertake pilot calculations to test whether this is the case. Reference Population for the Consumer Price Index 1.31 The group of households included in the scope of a CPI is referred to as the “reference population.” According to the 2008