Constructing Consumer Price Indexes




This seminar is designed for economists, statisticians, researchers, analysts, and managers working with consumer price indexes in national statistical programs. Participants should have an elementary knowledge of statistics.


To strengthen capabilities for the production and analysis of statistics on consumer prices and expenditures with relation to:

  • Designing, constructing, and analyzing indexes of consumer prices
  • Designing and conducting surveys of consumer expenditures to be used in price index construction and in the measurement of living conditions
  • Using statistical tools such as probability sampling and regression analysis in the measurement and analysis of prices and living conditions

Program content

This seminar is designed to present the theory, techniques, and methodologies for planning, designing, implementing, and maintaining statistical programs for the measurement of consumer prices and expenditures.

Consumer price indexes serve a twofold purpose: as a general economic indicator of the rate of inflation in a country's economy and as a measure for adjusting wages, salaries, and other income payments to keep in step with rising prices. The indexes are useful in formulating economic policy to maintain wage and price stability, to evaluate tax proposals, and to adjust national accounts for inflation and deflation.

Consumer expenditure surveys, which furnish data used in selecting and weighting item samples for consumer price indexes, provide valuable insights into the welfare of particular segments of the population and can be a source of data for family budget studies.

Participants are encouraged to bring with them the following materials for use in discussions and workshops: 1) methodologies on how data related to the seminar topic are collected in their home countries; 2) questionnaires used in their countries for obtaining those data; and 3) sample publications of those data.

The seminar includes discussions on the following topics:

Consumer expenditure surveys

  • Basic concepts
  • Sampling techniques
  • Consumer expenditure survey design
  • Collection, processing, and publication of data

Consumer Price Indexes (CPI)

  • Conceptual framework
  • Target population
  • Sampling and weighting techniques
  • Selection of sample items and outlets
  • Development of specifications
  • Collection and processing of data
  • Construction of index numbers
  • Seasonal items and other special problem areas
  • Data collection and conceptual problems in the informal sector
  • Publication, presentation, and dissemination of data
  • Application of the CPI in other countries

Techniques for analyzing data on prices and expenditures

  • Analysis of selected statistical tools and techniques
  • Use of price indexes as a deflator
  • Analysis of the ways in which price changes impact real wages and purchasing power

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Last modified: February 9, 2017