RPICPI User Group

last person joined: 3 months ago 

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.

RSS Event - The future of the RPI

  • 1.  RSS Event - The future of the RPI

    Posted 31-05-2018 11:57
      |   view attached
    I'm afraid I will not be able to attend this meeting on 13th June.

    However I have drafted a written contribution (copy attached) to submit with the discussion at the meeting.  I would be pleased to receive any comments from members before I finalise this.

    Gareth Jones


  • 2.  RE: RSS Event - The future of the RPI

    Posted 31-05-2018 13:37

    I attach drafts of my submission plus background notes for the meeting on the 13th June on the Future of the RPI.


    The submission is for the large part narrowly focussed on one section of the ONS article "Shortcomings of the Retail Prices Index as a measure of inflation" – the section on Carli and the RPI.   Arguments presented in that section are wrong mathematically or misleading.   Criticisms directed at the RPI also apply to CPI and CPIH.


    This is not new but what is perhaps more worrying is that the National Statistician and the Chair of UKSA have both signed up to arguments in the section.  The question then arises of what this says for trust in ONS and UKSA, and possibly for government statistics in general.


    The attached draft background notes largely consist of extracts from ONS and international publications, and the Johnson Review to support the submission.


    Below for convenience is the short bulleted summary from the submission.


    Any comments would be welcome.


    All the best.




    Bulleted summary


    • Arguments used against Carli in the RPI are simply wrong or misleading
    • ONS rely on a UN handbook targeted at "developing countries" to support their international good practice case
    • Johnson acknowledges that transitivity, price bounce and hence any associated bias are a feature of all UK indices including CPI and CPIH
    • The clothing upward bias issue is a consequence of ONS weakening the standard methodology on non-comparable replacements/implied quality change.
    • Johnson acknowledges that standard non-comparable replacements methodology affects all UK indices including CPI and CPIH – any associated bias likely to be downward.
    • There are issues of competence, governance and ultimately trust
    • The revised Code of Practice for Statistics quotes from Sir David Spiegelhalter's RSS President's Address –


    "… no-one can just expect to be trusted."


  • 3.  RE: RSS Event - The future of the RPI

    Posted 10-06-2018 19:59
    • If you haven't already done so don't forget to register for this event this Wednesday, 13 June!

      The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has just commenced an inquiry into, 'The Use Of the RPI', which makes this meeting more timely than ever.  So please do come along on Wednesday to hear a range of views on the RPI.  


      It promises to be a very lively meeting with hot debate on the RPI, whether it should remain frozen" and what its future is.

      John Pullinger, the National Statistician will set out his views on the future and we expect some challenges to that from some of the confirmed speakers. Now that the government has confirmed that there will not, at least for the moment, be a statutory override to the use of RPI in pension schemes and following a number of court cases which have confirmed the use of RPI for certain schemes is it really right that only routine changes should be applied to it?  But what should happen?  Come and listen and join in the debate.

      The meeting will start at 6pm sharp and is expected to last until about 7.45 pm following which the discussion can continue informally over drinks.

      RSS event:  The Future of the Retail Prices Index (RPI)

      Date and time:  Wednesday 13 June 2018, 06:00pm

      Location:  Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London EC1Y 8LX (An alternative venue may be used if demand requires it)


      Those who are unable to attend the meeting itself but still interested in contributing, via a written submission, are also asked to email policy@rss.org.uk

      (Please note that this meeting will be recorded and written contributions will be published on the RSS website.) 


      Please arrive at around 5.45pm when refreshments will be available and there will be post-meeting drinks to continue the discussion

      Organiser Name Iain Wilton

      Email Address policy@rss.org.uk

      Organising Group(s) Royal Statistical Society

      Tony Cox
      chair, RPI CPI User Group

    Tony Cox
    chair, RPI CPI User Group