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Technical notes

Table Consumer price indices
Technical note

The original base periods for the national series presented in the Consumer Price Indices table of the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics (MBS) can vary widely. Therefore, for presentation of these data, the MBS has adopted a uniform base period, which is currently 2005=100. When a country does not compile or provide its Consumer Price Indices’ data in the base published in the MBS (2005=100), the data in the original base periods are recalculated by the United Nations Statistics Division by dividing the index for each date shown by the index for the year 2005 (or a more recent year for which data are available in the same series) and multiplying the quotient by 100. This operation does not involve any change in the weighting systems used by the countries.

The consumer price index (CPI) is a current social and economic indicator that is constructed to measure changes over time in the general level of prices of consumer goods and services that households acquire, use or pay for consumption.

A consumer price index is usually estimated as a series of summary measures of the period-to-period proportional change in the prices of a fixed set of consumer goods and services of constant quantity and characteristics, acquired, used or paid for by the reference population. Each summary measure is constructed as a weighted average of a large number of elementary aggregate indices. Each of the elementary aggregate indices is estimated using a sample of prices for a defined set of goods and services obtained in, or by residents of, a specific region from a given set of outlets or other sources of consumption goods and services. Unless otherwise specified, the general (all items) and food and non-alcoholic beverages consumer price indices with national coverage are shown in the table for each country.

Detailed explanations of the methods used to compute the consumer price indices may be found on the countries’ or areas’ national statistical office websites (consult http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/inter-natlinks/sd_natstat.asp) or the ILO website at: http://laborsta.ilo.org/.

Data source Country responses to the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics questionnaire of the United Nations Statistics Division, supplemented by websites of the national statistical offices or of the central banks, and the International Labour Office (ILO), Geneva, Department of Statistics Database.
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