Ottawa Group on Price Indices
Purpose and organisation of the Ottawa Group:
The International Working Group on Price Indices, known as the "Ottawa Group", was formed in 1994 to provide a forum for specialist academics and practitioners to share their experiences and knowledge and discuss research on crucial problems related to the measurement of price change. While theoretical issues are covered in the discussions, the Group focuses primarily on applied research, particularly, but not exclusively, in the area of consumer price indices. The Group examines the advantages and disadvantages of various concepts, methods and procedures in the context of realistic operational environments, supported by concrete examples whenever possible. Participants are specialists and practitioners who work for or advise statistical agencies in different countries or international organizations. The Group meets every other year, alternating with the meetings of the Group of Experts on Consumer Price Indices, which are jointly organized by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Point of contact
Secretariate, Ottawa Group
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Locked Bag 10
Belconnen ACT 2616
The Ottawa Group has a steering committee, which ensures the continuity and evolution of the Group's activities and coordination with other international activities on price statistics, such as the meetings of the Group of Experts on Consumer Price Indices, and the Intersecretariat Working Group on Price Statistics. The steering committee comprises representatives of national statistical offices, academics and other experts in the field of price statistics, a representative of the organizing committee for the expert meetings on consumer price indices (CPIs), a representative of the Intersecretariat Working Group, and representatives of the agencies that have recently hosted or will host meetings of the Ottawa Group1. The representative of the Australian Bureau of Statistics currently serves as Executive Secretary of the Group. The membership of the steering committee is reviewed at each meeting of the Ottawa Group.
The meetings of the Ottawa Group are divided into sessions, each devoted to one clearly defined topic, with a designated moderator who is also responsible for producing a summary of the discussions. The summary includes the Group's recommendations, when a clear consensus emerges from the discussion, or, when this is not the case, a summary of the varying opinions, with balanced commentary.
Ottawa Group meetings also include Poster Sessions2. Poster sessions involve the presentation and discussion of topics in small groups. Poster sessions facilitate knowledge-sharing in a less formal environment.
The host agency provides facilities and administrative support for the meetings. Copies of each meeting's proceedings and information about the Ottawa Group are available from the Group's website (www.ottawagroup.org). The steering committee may also decide to edit and periodically release compendiums on selected topics through the website. The Executive Secretary is responsible for maintaining the website.
Researchers working for or advising national statistical offices have attended meetings of the Group. Among the countries that have been represented are Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and Viet Nam. Representatives of international organizations, such as Eurostat, the statistics department of the International Monetary Fund, ILO, ECE, the European Central Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, have also attended.
The Group has met on the following 16 occasions:
Ottawa, 31 October-3 November 1994
Stockholm, 15-17 November 1995
Voorburg, 16-18 April 1997
Washington, D.C., 22-24 April 1998
Reykjavik, 25-27 August 1999
Canberra, 2-6 April 2001
Paris, 27-29 May 2003
Helsinki, 23-25 August 2004
London, 14-16 May 2006
Ottawa, 9-12 October 2007
Neuchåtel, 27-29 May 2009
Wellington, 4-6 May 2011
Copenhagen, 1-3 May 2013
Tokyo, 20-22 May 2015
Eltville am Rhein, 10-12 May 2017
Rio de Janeiro, 8-10 May 2019
Rome, Italy, 7-10 June 2022
Since its last report to the Statistical Commission in 2020 (E/CN.3/2020/31), the Ottawa Group had to postpone its 2021 meeting to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ottawa Group, in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), held a series of webinars on “Producing the CPI under lockdown”. The webinars were conducted over 4 weeks (21, 28 October and 4, 11 November 2020). The webinars were hosted by the German Bundesbank. The following items were primarily discussed at the webinars – Theoretical considerations, Data collection, Imputation, and Communication. The report of the webinars is available at http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=52564.
The next meeting will be held in Rome, Italy, in June 2022, and will be co-hosted by the Italian Statistics Institute (Istat) and the Italian Central Bank (Bank of Italy). The agenda of the meeting is still open for discussion and is dependent on work programmes and future priorities.
Reporting to the UN Statistical Commission
- Report of 2020
- Report of 2019
- Report of 2016
- Report of 2014
- Report of 2012
- Report of 2010
- Report of 2008
- Report of 2005
1 A full list of the Steering Committee members can be found in Attachment 1.
2 The 13th meeting, held in Copenhagen, was the first meeting at which poster sessions were held.
Last updated 18 October 2022