Statistics by subject – Prices and price indexes

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All (11) (11 of 11 results)

  • Table: 62-010-X19970023422
    Description:

    The current official time base of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 1986=100. This time base was first used when the CPI for June 1990 was released. Statistics Canada is about to convert all price index series to the time base 1992=100. As a result, all constant dollar series will be converted to 1992 dollars. The CPI will shift to the new time base when the CPI for January 1998 is released on February 27th, 1998.

    Release date: 1997-11-17

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1997010
    Description:

    The debate on the measurement bias in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) arising from the U.S. "Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index", better known as the Boskin report, is not new and has been around for a number of decades. However, several circumstances made the current debate special.

    This publication, Bias in the CPI: experiences from five OECD countries, presents the experience and point of view of five different countries relative to the measurement bias in the CPI. While most statistical agencies recognise that their CPIs are not perfect measures of inflation, some agencies of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have consistently developed research agendas designed to improve its measurement.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103357
    Description:

    The ABS currently publishes a wide range of separate consumer, producer and international trade price indexes, each relating to a particular segment of economic activity, as well as implicit price deflators and fixed weighted indexes derived from the national accounts. These individual indexes can be considered as partial indicators as they each relate to a particular economic activity. Each index was developed to meet specific requirements and is released in its own separate, specialized publication, with substantial differences in profile. The Consumer Price Index is frequently used as a measure of inflation but it has a number of conceptual shortcomings for such purposes. In recent years, there has been increasing international attention directed towards developing new approaches to the measurement of inflation. The purpose of this paper is to briefly outline the framework and current or future developments in the field of price statistics. The paper concludes that although no studies of bias have been undertaken in the Australian CPI, it is believed that any bias is likely to be small.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103364
    Description:

    From a U.K. perspective, the Boskin Report raises no new issues; it simply gives some issues greater prominence. AT the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics, as in other national statistical agencies around the world, a substantial amount of research has been conducted over a number of years into methodology associated with consumer prices indices, and this work is continuing. Our view is that the Retail Prices Index (RPI) presently remains the most accurate single measure of consumer inflation in the U.K. It is produced using the best available methodology following advice from an independent RPI advisory committee. We believe that many of the issues raised in the Boskin Report for the U.S.A. have less in the U.K. This view is also shared by a number of independent commentators. Nevertheless, along with many other countries, we are undertaking further research and analysis to investigate the issues raised.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103365
    Description:

    The final report of the Boskin Commission (after its chair Michael Baskin) arrived like a huge boulder dropped into a quiet pool of water. It made an enormous splash in the U.S. and the tidal waves and ripples have spread out all over the world. But eight months after the report's December 1996 publication, the centre of the pool where the boulder landed has become almost completely still. This paper presents some of the reasons why no opportunities were grasped following the publication of the report. The paper concludes that one missed opportunity is the creation of a more unified economic statistical system. Although Statistics USA is not going anywhere, there is still hope for the future.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103362
    Description:

    The debate on the measurement of bias in the CPI has been around for decades. However, given the size of government budgetary deficits, the issue of overestimating inflation and therefore payments in social benefits has triggered the interest in the measurement of the CPI bias. The final report of the U.S. Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index, chaired by Michael Boskin, states that the U.S. CPI has been overestimated by 1.1% per year since 1996. Following the release of the report, many interested groups have asked the question as to the magnitude of the bias for Canada's CPI. This result raised the question whether the bias in the Canadian CPI was of the same magnitude. This paper begins by presenting the bias issue in the context of the Canadian CPI and then outlines some of the plans Statistics Canada intends to undertake in the near future to improve the measurement of the CPI. The paper concludes that, although the Canadian CPI may suffer from the same potential problems as the U.S. CPI, the overall effect of these biases is less notable because Statistics Canada started to apply an appropriate methodology earlier. In fact, in recent studies Crawford (1993 and 1997) tried to estimate an overall bias and concluded that given the generous judgement incorporated in the estimate, it is likely that the bias is, on average smaller than 0.5%.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103363
    Description:

    The debate over problems in measuring inflation is not new. It has recently been revived by the publication of a report by an Advisory Commission to the U.S. Senate. The Commission, chaired by Michael J. Boskin, found that the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) overestimates inflation by 1.1 percentage points a year. This article shows that the potential bias in the French CPI is on a far lower order of magnitude. It is hard to summarize the changes in a multitude of prices with a single figure. Even in the best-case theoretical scenario - a single consumer faced with a spending decision - the treatment of substitutions between existing products raises important problems. Nevertheless, it is possible to provide a fairly accurate description of the various possible alternatives and the statistical procedures used in France largely shield the country's index from criticism on this point. The introduction of new products creates serious difficulties that have not been entirely resolved in the United States, in France, or elsewhere: "new products" is used here in the broad sense to denote (1) genuinely new products on the market and (2) products already sold elsewhere but introduced in a new sales outlet, replacing existing products or not. The Boskin Commission estimates the upward bias in the U.S. CPI due to new products at 0.6 percentage points per year. The Commission's claim rest on fragile and probably exaggerated estimates. Our conclusion converges with the opinion of several U.S. statisticians.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1996003
    Description:

    Productivity analysis is one of the major foundations of the analysis of long-term economic growth. It is important to study productivity in order to identify the factors that contribute to it and to explore the relationship that exists between productivity, growth and international competitiveness.

    Statistics Canada produces partial productivity indexes for some 30 industries and the business sector of the economy on an annual basis. However, little is known about the real output, productivity, and price trends in the construction industry. Four opportunities for productivity research in the construction industry are evident, (a) investigation of the available productivity measures, (b) alternative approaches to the implicit methods currently used in the compilation of output price indexes, (c) estimation of productivity within particular sectors of the construction industry, and (d) comparison of productivity on an interprovincial or international basis.

    In this paper we will focus on the first two of the four alternatives and will give examples of the last two. In particular, by formalizing the adjustments that are made to the input factors used in the development of output indexes, we contend that the result will be more impartial and enduring. Generally, our goal is to investigate and promote measures that will be available and attractive to the construction industry as it begins to demand more electronic information. The purpose is to derive, eventually, some new productivity estimates based upon the best available statistics.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1997004
    Description:

    Over the years, the concept of core inflation has become of crucial importance for the central banks of various countries. Indeed, many of them have at some point been given the mandate to reduce inflation and achieve price stability. In Canada, this mandate was conferred on the Bank of Canada in February 1991.

    Core Inflation is often perceived as the trend in the movements of consumer prices. This review of the literature illustrates that more than one definition of core inflation exists. Then, a brief description of the different suggested methods to measure core inflation, as well as some of their results, are shown. Finally, this review offers a bibliography of articles on core inflation.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1996001
    Description:

    For decades, Canadians have been living in an inflationary environment. Everyone remembers that at some point in the past, consumer goods and services cost less. Even young people know that a candy bar cost less five or ten years ago than it does now. Thus the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar has gradually declined over the years.

    Even though everyone knows that things cost more now than in the past, there are situations in which this seems to be forgotten. The purpose of this article is to present a situation that shows the illusion of wealth that fairly long-term inflation can foster. We begin by looking at how inflation and income tax affect a retired person's interest income for a given year. Then we look at the effects of inflation and income tax on interest income over a longer period. When taxation is not factored in, the situation is one of investing inside a registered retirement savings plan.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1996002
    Description:

    Price indexes are an essential tool for the analysis of real output in the construction industry and for relative performance and productivity measures. They provide a succinct picture of the past and a useful framework for forecasting future developments. Government requires such price indexes as part of the information used in the development of its policies including support programs to provincial governments. These indexes are also used in construction contracts to adjust for cost fluctuations and inflation. It is however, a difficult task to obtain satisfactory indexes reflecting 'pure' price changes for construction. The units built are nonstandard and heterogeneous with large variations in quality, size, design and construction techniques. Consequently, there are many different types of indexes developed from information recorded in the construction industry.

    This paper summarizes the various ways in which construction price indexes can be compiled, and examines and compares the performance of some of the indexes currently produced at Statistics Canada. It is hoped that the comparisons would permit an assessment of the various types of construction indexes examined for specific applications.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

Data (1)

Data (1) (1 result)

  • Table: 62-010-X19970023422
    Description:

    The current official time base of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 1986=100. This time base was first used when the CPI for June 1990 was released. Statistics Canada is about to convert all price index series to the time base 1992=100. As a result, all constant dollar series will be converted to 1992 dollars. The CPI will shift to the new time base when the CPI for January 1998 is released on February 27th, 1998.

    Release date: 1997-11-17

Analysis (10)

Analysis (10) (10 of 10 results)

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1997010
    Description:

    The debate on the measurement bias in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) arising from the U.S. "Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index", better known as the Boskin report, is not new and has been around for a number of decades. However, several circumstances made the current debate special.

    This publication, Bias in the CPI: experiences from five OECD countries, presents the experience and point of view of five different countries relative to the measurement bias in the CPI. While most statistical agencies recognise that their CPIs are not perfect measures of inflation, some agencies of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have consistently developed research agendas designed to improve its measurement.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103357
    Description:

    The ABS currently publishes a wide range of separate consumer, producer and international trade price indexes, each relating to a particular segment of economic activity, as well as implicit price deflators and fixed weighted indexes derived from the national accounts. These individual indexes can be considered as partial indicators as they each relate to a particular economic activity. Each index was developed to meet specific requirements and is released in its own separate, specialized publication, with substantial differences in profile. The Consumer Price Index is frequently used as a measure of inflation but it has a number of conceptual shortcomings for such purposes. In recent years, there has been increasing international attention directed towards developing new approaches to the measurement of inflation. The purpose of this paper is to briefly outline the framework and current or future developments in the field of price statistics. The paper concludes that although no studies of bias have been undertaken in the Australian CPI, it is believed that any bias is likely to be small.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103364
    Description:

    From a U.K. perspective, the Boskin Report raises no new issues; it simply gives some issues greater prominence. AT the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics, as in other national statistical agencies around the world, a substantial amount of research has been conducted over a number of years into methodology associated with consumer prices indices, and this work is continuing. Our view is that the Retail Prices Index (RPI) presently remains the most accurate single measure of consumer inflation in the U.K. It is produced using the best available methodology following advice from an independent RPI advisory committee. We believe that many of the issues raised in the Boskin Report for the U.S.A. have less in the U.K. This view is also shared by a number of independent commentators. Nevertheless, along with many other countries, we are undertaking further research and analysis to investigate the issues raised.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103365
    Description:

    The final report of the Boskin Commission (after its chair Michael Baskin) arrived like a huge boulder dropped into a quiet pool of water. It made an enormous splash in the U.S. and the tidal waves and ripples have spread out all over the world. But eight months after the report's December 1996 publication, the centre of the pool where the boulder landed has become almost completely still. This paper presents some of the reasons why no opportunities were grasped following the publication of the report. The paper concludes that one missed opportunity is the creation of a more unified economic statistical system. Although Statistics USA is not going anywhere, there is still hope for the future.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103362
    Description:

    The debate on the measurement of bias in the CPI has been around for decades. However, given the size of government budgetary deficits, the issue of overestimating inflation and therefore payments in social benefits has triggered the interest in the measurement of the CPI bias. The final report of the U.S. Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index, chaired by Michael Boskin, states that the U.S. CPI has been overestimated by 1.1% per year since 1996. Following the release of the report, many interested groups have asked the question as to the magnitude of the bias for Canada's CPI. This result raised the question whether the bias in the Canadian CPI was of the same magnitude. This paper begins by presenting the bias issue in the context of the Canadian CPI and then outlines some of the plans Statistics Canada intends to undertake in the near future to improve the measurement of the CPI. The paper concludes that, although the Canadian CPI may suffer from the same potential problems as the U.S. CPI, the overall effect of these biases is less notable because Statistics Canada started to apply an appropriate methodology earlier. In fact, in recent studies Crawford (1993 and 1997) tried to estimate an overall bias and concluded that given the generous judgement incorporated in the estimate, it is likely that the bias is, on average smaller than 0.5%.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M19970103363
    Description:

    The debate over problems in measuring inflation is not new. It has recently been revived by the publication of a report by an Advisory Commission to the U.S. Senate. The Commission, chaired by Michael J. Boskin, found that the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) overestimates inflation by 1.1 percentage points a year. This article shows that the potential bias in the French CPI is on a far lower order of magnitude. It is hard to summarize the changes in a multitude of prices with a single figure. Even in the best-case theoretical scenario - a single consumer faced with a spending decision - the treatment of substitutions between existing products raises important problems. Nevertheless, it is possible to provide a fairly accurate description of the various possible alternatives and the statistical procedures used in France largely shield the country's index from criticism on this point. The introduction of new products creates serious difficulties that have not been entirely resolved in the United States, in France, or elsewhere: "new products" is used here in the broad sense to denote (1) genuinely new products on the market and (2) products already sold elsewhere but introduced in a new sales outlet, replacing existing products or not. The Boskin Commission estimates the upward bias in the U.S. CPI due to new products at 0.6 percentage points per year. The Commission's claim rest on fragile and probably exaggerated estimates. Our conclusion converges with the opinion of several U.S. statisticians.

    Release date: 1997-10-02

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1996003
    Description:

    Productivity analysis is one of the major foundations of the analysis of long-term economic growth. It is important to study productivity in order to identify the factors that contribute to it and to explore the relationship that exists between productivity, growth and international competitiveness.

    Statistics Canada produces partial productivity indexes for some 30 industries and the business sector of the economy on an annual basis. However, little is known about the real output, productivity, and price trends in the construction industry. Four opportunities for productivity research in the construction industry are evident, (a) investigation of the available productivity measures, (b) alternative approaches to the implicit methods currently used in the compilation of output price indexes, (c) estimation of productivity within particular sectors of the construction industry, and (d) comparison of productivity on an interprovincial or international basis.

    In this paper we will focus on the first two of the four alternatives and will give examples of the last two. In particular, by formalizing the adjustments that are made to the input factors used in the development of output indexes, we contend that the result will be more impartial and enduring. Generally, our goal is to investigate and promote measures that will be available and attractive to the construction industry as it begins to demand more electronic information. The purpose is to derive, eventually, some new productivity estimates based upon the best available statistics.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1997004
    Description:

    Over the years, the concept of core inflation has become of crucial importance for the central banks of various countries. Indeed, many of them have at some point been given the mandate to reduce inflation and achieve price stability. In Canada, this mandate was conferred on the Bank of Canada in February 1991.

    Core Inflation is often perceived as the trend in the movements of consumer prices. This review of the literature illustrates that more than one definition of core inflation exists. Then, a brief description of the different suggested methods to measure core inflation, as well as some of their results, are shown. Finally, this review offers a bibliography of articles on core inflation.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1996001
    Description:

    For decades, Canadians have been living in an inflationary environment. Everyone remembers that at some point in the past, consumer goods and services cost less. Even young people know that a candy bar cost less five or ten years ago than it does now. Thus the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar has gradually declined over the years.

    Even though everyone knows that things cost more now than in the past, there are situations in which this seems to be forgotten. The purpose of this article is to present a situation that shows the illusion of wealth that fairly long-term inflation can foster. We begin by looking at how inflation and income tax affect a retired person's interest income for a given year. Then we look at the effects of inflation and income tax on interest income over a longer period. When taxation is not factored in, the situation is one of investing inside a registered retirement savings plan.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

  • Articles and reports: 62F0014M1996002
    Description:

    Price indexes are an essential tool for the analysis of real output in the construction industry and for relative performance and productivity measures. They provide a succinct picture of the past and a useful framework for forecasting future developments. Government requires such price indexes as part of the information used in the development of its policies including support programs to provincial governments. These indexes are also used in construction contracts to adjust for cost fluctuations and inflation. It is however, a difficult task to obtain satisfactory indexes reflecting 'pure' price changes for construction. The units built are nonstandard and heterogeneous with large variations in quality, size, design and construction techniques. Consequently, there are many different types of indexes developed from information recorded in the construction industry.

    This paper summarizes the various ways in which construction price indexes can be compiled, and examines and compares the performance of some of the indexes currently produced at Statistics Canada. It is hoped that the comparisons would permit an assessment of the various types of construction indexes examined for specific applications.

    Release date: 1997-05-05

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