Re-Assessment of Statistics on the Consumer Prices Index including owner-occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH)

We are currently re-assessing the extent to which the Consumer Prices Index including owner-occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) statistics, and its derivative CPIHY (CPIH excluding indirect taxation), produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of its monthly consumer prices bulletins meet the professional standards set out in the statutory Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The Code of Practice covers a wide range of issues such as the quality of the statistics, their accessibility and the extent to which they meet users’ needs. Capturing the views of users, and potential users, forms an important part of our judgment about the statistics, including how they could be improved.

The CPIH was first assessed in 2010 in Assessment Report 257. In August 2014, its National Statistics status was removed following concerns about the methods and processing of the private rents data used to estimate owner occupiers’ housing costs. Since then ONS has made changes to the statistics in line with the Code of Practice and a re-assessment of these statistics is now underway.

This re-assessment is being carried out independently of the Authority’s consultation on measuring consumer prices, which is consulting users on the future development of the UK’s range of consumer price statistics. This re-assessment is evaluating the extent to which CPIH as it is currently produced meets all elements of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Feedback can be in any form, but it would be particularly helpful to us if you could structure your response around the following areas:

  1. For what purpose do you use CPIH? Please be as specific as possible, for example, the nature of any decisions made based on this inflation measure and the role of CPIH in making those decisions.
  2. Are the statistics of sufficient quality for your needs? How clear is the advice from ONS about the strengths and limitations of the statistics? What further information would you like? Are you aware of changes that have been made to these statistics and the impact these changes have on the resultant data?
  3. Is the statistical commentary helpful to you? How could it be improved?
  4. How do you usually access the latest statistics, for example from ONS’s website, through the media etc? How could access be improved? Did you feel adequately informed about CPIH’s discontinued designation as National Statistics?
  5. If you have requested additional data or raised queries with ONS about these statistics, or if the statisticians have sought your views about any aspect of the statistics, please tell us how well ONS has engaged with you. Please include any engagement you have had with ONS during their consultation on the introduction of CPIH and about the Authority’s recent consultation on consumer prices.
  6. We welcome comments on any other aspect of these statistics which you think might be relevant to our re-assessment. For example, if you responded to the previous assessment in 2013, please tell us whether you feel that the points you raised have been addressed.

Please send your response via email to by 30 September 2015. If you would prefer to talk to one of the assessment team, please phone Tegwen Green on 01633 455789 or Johanna Hutchinson on 01329 447950.

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