The INE launches a new shopping basket: what goes in and what goes out?

The National Statistics Institute (INE) has updated the CPI calculation base, which implies changes in the shopping basket, which masks and subscriptions to the press are incorporated online and obsolete products come out due to the evolution of consumption habits such as CDs and DVDs.

Eurostat requires update the methodology of inflation every five years and the INE has released the new calculation base in its advance CPI data for January.

The base of 2021 compared to that of 2016 collect 199 subclasses instead of 221, in which they are grouped in total 955 products and services (22 less than before). In addition, the prices of 462 of these items are collected in person by INE technicians, and the remaining 493 are controlled electronically.

Masks and subscriptions online

The basket now includes the price of hygienic masks, the use of which has skyrocketed since the coronavirus pandemic began, as well as the price of newspaper subscriptions to be able to consult them online.

The list of items that disappear is longer than the list of entries and includes both CDs and DVDs as well as portable players (of music and video), in addition to the magazines and other publications periodic.

They also stop counting margarine, canned milk, dry cleaners and cobblershaberdashery, cutlery, rugs and carpets, heating maintenance services, irons and “large tools and motor equipment”.

Contraceptives and “non-oral” pregnancy tests leave the shopping basketlubricants, moving services, some postal services, cameras, outdoor camping equipment, garden products and home insurance, among others.

The INE technicians have highlighted that there are also changes in the treatment of the prices collected in the dress and footwear primarily with the aim of being “more precise” when measuring its evolution in the periods that do not correspond to the traditional winter and summer sales.

Postponed the free price of electricity

The INE has decided postpone the inclusion of electricity prices in the free market in the IPC shopping basket after analyzing with the energy companies how to do it in recent months.

In a statement, he explained that he will not collect this data “until he obtains the information to be provided by electricity companies with a sufficient level of detail and with the necessary technical criteria that allow the application of a methodology consistent with the requirements demanded in the calculation of the CPI”.

Sources from the electricity sector have pointed out that to include these prices, the INE requires differentiate between household contracts and those of those SMEs that use a home as headquarters (law firms, medical consultations, etc.), since you can only collect the first ones in the CPI.

Electric companies do not have segmented information and proposed to facilitate the data of those contracts with a power of less than 10 kilowatts, understanding that the majority correspond to households. The INE has considered that it is not enough and has argued that the “erratic situation” that the market is experiencing “does not favor the introduction of any change methodological, which could distort the analysis of the evolution of prices throughout the year 2022 and following”.

The weights change

The entry and exit of products from the basket occurs only in these five-yearly updates, although each year the INE also reviews the weighting of each category. Of the twelve groups in which all the products are grouped, in 2022 the greater weight in the CPI continues to be that of food and non-alcoholic beverageswith 22.6%, still one point less than in 2021.

On the contrary, the living place -where electricity is included- has increased from 13.6 to 14.2%; the transport it has risen from 12.4 to 13%; and the Hotels and restaurants they have gone from 11.6 to 13%. Of the rest of the categories, only medicine rose, with a weight of 4.4% (five tenths more than before).

Leisure and culture (6.4%), other goods and services (6.3%), clothing and footwear (6%), household items (5.8%), communications (3.6%), alcoholic beverages and tobacco ( 3.1%) and teaching (1.6%) complete the statistics up to 100%.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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