seemingly innocuous decision by a statistical agency to reconsider the method
of calculation of an index of consumer price inflation is developing into a
political minefield with accusations of government manipulation and pressure.
This is happening not in Argentina, where it is widely accepted that the
Government’s official inflation measure vastly underestimates rises in the
cost-of-living, but in the United Kingdom. At a public meeting held in London
on October 26, 2012 attended by the author, accusations of facilitating a
politically motivated agenda were levelled against the Office of National
controversial meeting resulted from an independent public statistical
consultation launched on September 18, 2012 by the ONS into the methodology
used to calculate the Retail Price Index (RPI). The RPI was once the principal
means of calculating consumer price inflation and the cost of living until
superseded by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in 2003.  The two indices
have continued to coexist and although a number of user groups have switched
from the RPI to the CPI since the government changed its inflation targeting
regime to the new inflation measure, others have stayed with the RPI. For
example, despite the move to use the CPI instead of the RPI as an inflation
target, the UK government confirmed that index-linked gilts, public sector
pensions and benefits would remain indexed to the RPI. The latter two along
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The Sales Managers' Indexescovering all major Asian, African and Latin American emerging markets, plus North America.
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