Date lodged: 3 April 2019
To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how the inflation rate is calculated and whether there are any factors in Scotland that could result in a different level from that of the rest of the UK.
Answered by: Derek Mackay 24 April 2019
Consumer price inflation is the rate at which the prices of goods and services bought by households rise and fall; it is estimated using consumer price indices. As of 21 March 2017, the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) became the Office for National Statistics’ lead inflation index.
The UK CPIH is estimated by calculating a weighted average of monthly price indices for a basket of goods representing consumption by an average household. The basket of goods – and hence the weights used – are updated in January each year. Prices data are collected on a wide range of products and services at numerous sites across the UK. The series are chain-linked from month to month, and the comparison with the average price of the basket of goods one year earlier becomes the headline measure of inflation.
The CPIH data are not stratified by country or region of the UK, and hence regional inflation rates are not available as official statistics. The ONS has previously undertaken a feasibility study into producing CPIH inflation rates for the countries and regions of the UK. Further information is available from https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/methodologies/