REVISION OF THE RETAIL PRICE INDEX

BASE YEAR JANUARY 2015 = 100

STAKEHOLDER LAUNCH, MAY 15 2015

RADDISON HOTEL, PORT OF SPAIN

The Index of Retail Prices (RPI) is one of the monthly indices produced by the Economic Statistics Division of the Central Statistical Office (CSO).  One of the main uses of the RPI is as a measure of the Rate of Inflation of the country and it is one of the most requested measures produced by the CSO.

What is a RPI?  A RPI is a weighted average of the proportionate changes in the prices of a specified set or “basket” of consumer goods and services between two periods of time.

The RPI monitors the prices of a fixed basket of goods and services in 15 areas in Trinidad and Tobago.

The data from the Household Budget Survey (HBS) was used to determine:

  1. which items were selected for the basket of items monitored by the RPI;
  2. the weights of these items i.e. their relative importance compared with all other items in the basket and,
  3. the weights of the areas monitored by the RPI.

The HBS requires respondents to indicate all goods and services purchased by selected households over a specified period of time.  The last HBS was conducted over a year – May 2008 to April 2009.

The RPI is used as a deflator by the National Income Section of the Central Statistical Office in the production of the Gross Domestic Product as well as by external organisations such as the Central Bank, Ministries of Finance and the Economy and Planning and Sustainable Development in its social and economic planning for the country.  Companies and Labour Unions also use the data in wage negotiations and in determining the Cost of Living calculations for its employees.  International organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s use the RPI as an indicator of the country’s performance over time.

The Central Statistical Office launched the Revised Index of Retail Prices, Base Year January 2015 = 100 on May 15 2015 at the Raddison Hotel, Port of Spain.  The Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, the Honourable Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie congratulated the CSO for the work done,  especially given the significance of this event and the importance of the Retail Price Index to the CSO and its stakeholders.

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