Household Expenditure Survey Critical – STATIN

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy, responding to questions during a press launch for the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) to be conducted across Jamaica by STATIN from February 2017 to February 2018. The launch was held at The Knutsford Court Hotel on January 31. The HES will provide data to be used for the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Story Highlights

  • Data from a Household Expenditure Survey (HES) to be conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) this year, and which will form the basis of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), will be critical to the development of Government policy to enable economic growth.
  • Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy, said the HES provides data for the CPI, which is the most commonly used indicator of inflation in Jamaica, adding that the information will also enable the implementation of monetary policy, as well as facilitate studies on poverty and income distribution.
  • The HES will be conducted between February this year and February 2018, and will target approximately 12,500 households over the 12-month period.

Data from a Household Expenditure Survey (HES) to be conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) this year, and which will form the basis of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), will be critical to the development of Government policy to enable economic growth.

Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy, said the HES provides data for the CPI, which is the most commonly used indicator of inflation in Jamaica, adding that the information will also enable the implementation of monetary policy, as well as facilitate studies on poverty and income distribution.

She was addressing the press launch for the HES on January 31, at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

“It is important that the CPI adequately reflects the spending habits of the Jamaican population, therefore ensuring that the measurement of the monthly inflation index will be reflective of current expenditure patterns,” she said.

The CPI provides information to householders on the general movement of prices, which impact all Jamaicans.

Ms. Coy said the inflation rates reflected in the CPI are also important in wage negotiations in the country, and influence calculation of utility and toll rates, as well as settlement claims in legal matters.

The HES will be conducted between February this year and February 2018, and will target approximately 12,500 households over the 12-month period.

The survey, which is to obtain information on the amount Jamaican households spend on goods and services, will collect data on food and drink, clothing and footwear, housing services, household goods and equipment, health, transportation, communication, recreational and cultural activities, education and other miscellaneous goods and services.

Jamaicans are being urged to participate in the survey and to facilitate the process by saving receipts and recording expenses in a diary provided to selected households.

Meanwhile, Chairman of STATIN, Professor Alvin Wint, outlined the value of accurately revising expenditure data to have current inflation levels available to the Government.

“Our message to Jamaica is that you can play a part in helping us to solve and deal with one of the important influences of growth in the country by participating in the HES, letting the interviewers know exactly what it is you are consuming and what that consumption is as a percentage of your expenditure,” he said.

“This is so that we can have better data to better inform policy decisions and help to improve the quality of life,” he said.

The survey, being conducted for the first time since 2005, will be funded at a cost of $200 million.

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