A Course on improving the measurement of consumer price inflation

September 08, 2023

Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) are one of the most important macroeconomic indicators produced by a country. CPIs are used as key inputs into monetary policy decisions; to adjust salaries, wages, government payments, and other payments; and as a general measure of inflation. Improving CPI compilation methods ensures the reliability and accuracy of inflation measures needed for sound policymaking and other important uses. This makes the Consumer Price Index – Advanced Course particularly topical. This course was delivered during August 21 – September 1, 2023 at the JVI by the IMF Statistics Department. It was attended by 25 participants from 13 countries. Participants included compilers from national statistical offices and a data user. 

The course aimed to build capacity to improve the compilation of consumer price indexes (CPI) that reflect international standards and best practice as described in the 2020 CPI Manual. Course topics included an overview of index calculation methods, developing weights, selecting samples, measuring the digital economy, alternative data sources, and owner-occupied housing. The program included interactive discussions to share country experiences, practical exercises to apply concepts and methods discussed, with formal lectures kept to a minimum. The final agenda of the course focused on specific compilation issues identified by participants during the opening session. 

Participants actively engaged in discussion, shared country experiences, and posed excellent questions. The course was highly rated by the participants who noted that the course had improved their understanding of CPI compilation methods and that the course content will help them produce higher quality CPIs.  

Brian Graf, Senior Economist, IMF


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