Price Collection and Quality Assurance of Item Sampling in the Retail Prices Index

David Fenwick, Adrian Ball, Peter Morgan and Mick Silver

in Scanner Data and Price Indexes

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780226239651
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226239668 | DOI:
Price Collection and Quality Assurance of Item Sampling in the Retail Prices Index

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This chapter describes the U.K. Office for National Statistics' experience in comparing scanner data with conventionally collected data from its Retail Price Index (RPI). The U.K. RPI is a widely employed macro-economic indicator in the formation and monitoring of economic policy and for the indexation of welfare and other state benefits. Scanner data offer the potential to deliver up-to-date and accurate information. The process of matching price data from the RPI with scanner data on unit values was not always successful despite a series of reconciliation and validity checks. Clearly differences in the mix of shops between scanner data and the RPI sample could produce significant differences in both the average price of items and the average price change. Scanner data by store type indicate that special care must be taken to ensure a proper spread of outlets in the RPI sample.

Keywords: U.K. Office for National Statistics; scanner data; Retail Price Index; price data; shops; store type

Chapter.  7013 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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