After over a decade, India is preparing to update the base for the consumer price index (CPI), which measures retail inflation, The Economic Times (ET) reported on Tuesday. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has started conducting training of its officers for the exercise.
"CPI base updation training programme will strengthen the data collectors to identify the correct markets and correct shops for item identification," a source was quoted as saying in the report.
This is the first time the ministry is revising the base in over a decade. Currently, the base year for calculations of CPI is 2011-12.
The ministry identifies markets and key shops for collecting statistics. The most frequented shop in a market is identified as a permanent shop, and two other shops are tagged as reserve shops.
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Also, the items to be included in the basket and their weights are determined using the household consumer expenditure survey (HCES). The current HCES, according to ET, is underway and is expected to be completed by July next year.
Earlier, the Centre had also conducted an HCES in 2017-28, but it was junked owing to data inconsistencies.
For the current year, the Centre is conducting two surveys. One will be completed this month and the next by July 2024. This is largely being done to ensure consistency in the data collected.
The new CPI series will be released after both the surveys are conducted, and the results are published.
The report added that the expert group that is working on the updation of the base year has already identified the tentative sample size, and it has been increased "significantly".
"Expert Group on base revision has already identified the tentative sample size for the base revision exercise. A comprehensive sampling design has been identified to capture the rural and urban population," a person aware of the matter told ET.