RPICPI User Group

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To foster co-operation and the exchange of information between the ONS, its advisory bodies and other users. Please see 'Aims of the RPI/CPI User Group' in the library for further details.

A growing problem for the ONS

  • 1.  A growing problem for the ONS

    Posted 18-10-2017 17:09
    Hi All

    Yesterday saw the publishing of the latest UK inflation data and a reappearance of a problem I have mentioned before. From the BBC website.

    "Inflation - as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) - has hit 3%, the highest level since April 2012.

    This will have an impact on everybody from pensioners to workers, and those running businesses too.

    With prices going up by 3%, and earnings going up by just 2.1%, the average worker will inevitably be worse off than a year ago"

    Here also is Patrick Collinson in the Guardian.

    "Official figures today reveal that the consumer price index has risen to 3%, the highest in five years. The retail price index – the one used in the 1970s – is even higher, at 3.6%."

    He would have been even more het up had he realised the RPI was growing at an annual rate of 3.9%. However you may note that the RPI which the ONS has tried hard to discredit is still in use in one of the few newspapers that tries to still be of broadsheet type quality. Also that in neither case does the new "lead" indicator for consumer inflation CPIH get a mention.

    Has the ONS ever published such an important indicator to such silence before?


    Shaun Richards

  • 2.  RE: A growing problem for the ONS

    Posted 21-10-2017 12:04
    Even worse is that ONS' headline inflation measure (CPIH) rose 2.8% over the same period.


  • 3.  RE: A growing problem for the ONS

    Posted 23-11-2017 16:15
    Hi All

    There was more bad news for the Office for National Statistics in yesterday's Budget announcement.

    "With inflation peaking at 3% in this quarter, before falling back towards target over the next year.

    And today I reaffirm the remit for the independent Monetary Policy Committee, and its 2% CPI inflation target."

    The list of people and institutions ignoring CPIH and treating it as if it does not exist just gets longer and longer.


    Shaun Richards

  • 4.  RE: A growing problem for the ONS

    Posted 23-11-2017 20:06
    Personally I was relieved that there was no mention of CPIH in the budget.

    CPIH is an even greater underestimate of inflation than the CPI.


  • 5.  RE: A growing problem for the ONS

    Posted 14-12-2017 09:48
    These clashing figures are an old problem for the ONS.

    Back in 2009 the CPI said we had the highest inflation in the G7, while because of the interest rate cuts the RPI said we had the deepest deflation in the G7.

    John Hemming one of the MPs local to me put down an early day motion on this.

    It seems the UK likes to have a range of inflation figures and then to haggle about it. I sign of a failing system.

    The US calculates inflation by a number of different populations and then comes up with low figures fairly close together. germany used to do the same when they used a range of populations too. These countries probably set the standard for containing inflation.

    This Household Index seems set to come up with yet another figure.

    What we need is a coherent family of indices


    how the US CPI actually worked to contain housing inflation