Jamaicans Urged to Support Household Expenditure Survey

Photo: Dave Reid Project Manager for the Household Expenditure Survey (HES), Shelly-Ann Chambers (left), gives an update on the year-long survey being conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) at a recent Think Tank session. At right is Director General of the Institute, Carol Coy.

Story Highlights

  • The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is urging persons to support its household expenditure survey (HES) now underway.
  • The survey, which is being conducted from February 6, 2017 to February 2018, collects information on the amount households spend on consumer goods and services such as food, education, health, transportation, recreation and communication.
  • Speaking with JIS News, Project Manager for the HES, Shelly-Ann Chambers, noted that the data collected will be used to compute the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the most commonly used indicator of inflation in Jamaica.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is urging persons to support its household expenditure survey (HES) now underway.

The survey, which is being conducted from February 6, 2017 to February 2018, collects information on the amount households spend on consumer goods and services such as food, education, health, transportation, recreation and communication.

Data obtained is critical to the decision-making processes in public and private entities and will determine the general pattern of expenditure throughout the economy.

It is also integral to the review of pensions, calculation of electricity rates, computation of wages and salaries as well as socio-economic policy formulation and other decision-making processes.

Speaking with JIS News, Project Manager for the HES, Shelly-Ann Chambers, noted that the data collected will be used to compute the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the most commonly used indicator of inflation in Jamaica.

The CPI is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a basket of consumer goods and services.

Mrs. Chambers said the survey will collect information on changing consumer tastes and preferences, changes in income levels, quality changes from the entry of new products into the market, technological advancement, and changes in the demographic structure of the population.

The information obtained will be used to update the basket of goods and services in terms of how much persons spend on each item or the category of items consumed.

“So, since the last survey (2004/2005) certain items would have become obsolete and new ones would have come on to the market including technology items such as tablets and smart televisions,” Mrs. Chambers pointed out.

“Toll charges, too, are now a big part of some household’s budget that did not exist back then, so these would reflect current spending patterns and represented in the CPI that is being compiled for Jamaica,” she noted.

Each month, a sample of approximately 1, 200 households are visited by the STATIN interviewers, with about 15,000 households to be reached by the end of survey.

The HES is conducted every five to 10 years. For further information on the HES or other surveys in the field, persons may call 630-1600 or visit STATIN’s website at: www.statinja.gov.jm.

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