2. Recommendations

The panels recommend that the National Statistician:

  • continues to prioritise work on transformation of consumer price statistics to use new data, methods, and systems, recognising the considerable progress ONS have made in recent years
  • ensures that appropriate time is taken to fully understand the impact that transformation work has, including a sufficiently long test series and suitable contingency planning, before any such irreversible change is made to official measures
  • provides necessary clarity as soon as possible over how transformation work might impact the RPI prior to 2030, following the consultation on the reform of the Retail Prices Index methodology in 2020
  • endorses expediting the production of quarterly estimates of the Household Costs Indices (HCIs) in 2023, and commissioning research into capturing variations in the prices paid by different types of household
  • endorses ONS using the same approach to calculate basket weights for 2023 as has been used since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic
  • notes the progress towards producing sub-national measures of consumer price inflation, including a boost to the collection of price quotes in Northern Ireland
  • notes the publication of a modelled historical series for CPIH back to 1950, and the remodelling of CPI estimates over the same period, that were published in May 2022 to help provide additional insight in the context of the cost-of-living debate
  • recognises the progress ONS has made against the work programme for consumer price statistics, including additional work to help inform policy making and debate surrounding the rising cost of living
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