Workshop for the Computation of the Harmonized Consumer Price Index
The regional International Comparison Program (ICP) team conducted a workshop for the computation of the Harmonized Consumer Price Index (HCPI). The workshop was attended by participants from the group of member countries undertaking this project at its first stage.
The Harmonized Consumer Price Index (HCPI) is an innovative project developed by the regional office at ESCWA in an endeavor to achieve higher integration between the ICP and the national statistical work programs, mainly the CPI. This project also aims at increasing the coordination between member countries and enabling the comparison of price level changes, which are otherwise incomparable using the national CPI indices. Moreover, this activity also provides an added value in terms of measuring inflation level in the region as a whole or in a sub-region within Western Asia as a first step.
During the workshop, the national progress in the computation of the harmonized indices was presented by each country representative. The computation methodology was presented in detail by the regional team and changes were introduced to ensure a higher level of consistency and comparability. Participants then worked on recalculating their indices based on the new methodological changes in addition to the notes each country was provided with. Furthermore, each country gave a presentation on a special topic assigned by the regional team in the aim of enhancing the project and exploring new areas for further harmonizing the methodology.
The preliminary national results were presented along with a comparison between the inflation levels obtained using the CPI and HCPI for each country. The preliminary regional HCPI results were also presented illustrating the inflation level in the sub-region.
ESCWA continues to develop new and innovative initiatives such as the HCPI which provide opportunities for building national statistical capacities, especially in the area of price statistics.