September 24, 2019: The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday published its methodology of price statistics with base year 2015-16 following the re-basing of National Accounts from the base of 2005-06 to 2015-16.
According to the PBS document placed on the website of the bureau, the salient feature of the new base include introduction of Rural Consumer Price Index (RCPI) for the first time in the history of the country.
The old base CPI was urban biased, and was criticized for not including rural markets while the new base CPI include Urban as well as Rural markets of the country.
In the new base, Rural Price Index (RPI), Urban Consumer Price Index (UCPI) and National CPI will be published against a single number of CPI under the old base.
Furthermore, compared to the old methodology, which focused on assigning equal weights to large and small cities, in the new base, population weights have been introduced, thus cities would get weights, according to their population size.
In the new base Geometric Mean (G.M) is used instead of Arithmetic Mean (A.M) as per international practice, it said adding that contrary to the old methodology which used the income quintiles, the consumption quintiles have been introduced in new base to capture the actual consumption pattern of the households.
According to the document, PBS was criticized for giving equal weights (20%) to each of five price slabs (in old base) to compute combined gas price while in the new base, slabwise consumer weights have been introduced to calculate the quintile and combined gas prices.
The earlier methodology was using only slabwise electricity rates without taking into account the taxes, surcharges and Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) while in the new base taxes and fuel price adjustments have been Methodology of Price Statistics Base Year 2015-16.
PBS decided to introduce end to end electronic transformation of data with no human intervention, it said.