FAQ on Consumer Price Index (CPI)

  • What is the CPI?
  • How is the CPI used?
  • How often is the CPI rebased?
  • What does the CPI basket cover?
  • How are the CPI weights derived?
  • What is the weighting pattern for 2014-based CPI for general households?
  • How are CPI prices collected?
  • Why is my inflation experience different from the CPI?
  • When is the CPI released?
  • Where can CPI data be obtained?
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    What is CPI?

    The CPI is designed to measure the average price changes in a fixed basket of consumption goods and services commonly purchased by the households over time. It is commonly used as a measure of consumer price inflation.

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    How is the CPI used?

    • as a measure of consumer price inflation
    • as inputs in the formulation of government policies
    • as inputs in the compilation of economic statistics at constant prices
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    How often is the CPI rebased?

    The CPI is rebased once every five years to reflect the latest consumption patterns and composition of goods and services consumed by resident households. The latest base period for the CPI is 2014 = 100.

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    What does the CPI basket cover?

    • Consumption expenditure incurred by resident households are covered in the CPI
    • Includes goods and services commonly purchased by households from a wide range of retailers and service providers
    • About 6,600 brands/varieties from 4,200 outlets are selected in the 2014-based CPI

    How are the CPI weights derived?

    The CPI weights reflect the relative importance of each item in the basket of goods and services. The latest weighting pattern was derived from the expenditure values collected in the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) 2012/13, updated to 2014 values by taking into account price changes between 2012/13 and 2014.

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    What is the weighting pattern for 2014-based CPI for general households?

    cpi2014basket

    How are CPI prices collected?

    • Through a combination of data collection modes
    • Frequency of price collection depends on price behaviour of the item: Items with volatile prices are surveyed weekly e.g. perishable food items while those with more stable prices such as service & conservancy (S&C) charges for HDB flats, utility tariffs, bus/train fares, school fees, medical services and household durables are priced monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or as and when the prices/rates change.

    Why is my inflation experience different from the CPI?

    The CPI reflects the collective experience of inflation for all households. It does not correspond exactly to the personal experience of any particular household since every household’s spending pattern is unique. Depending on the goods and services purchased by each individual household, changes in prices will impact each household to a different extent.

    inflation-experience

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    When is the CPI released?

    The CPI is released on the 23rd of every month, or on the following working day if the 23rd falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday.

    Where can CPI data be obtained?

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