Research over the past decade by National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and academics has identified opportunities for compiling price indexes from transactions data. As part of the program into Enhancing the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has investigated new methods, known as multilateral index number methods, which have typically been used when compiling spatial price comparisons. The international price statistics community has reached a consensus that multilateral methods are required to exploit the full amount of information provided in transactions datasets.
The information paper titled ‘Making Greater Use of Transactions Data to compile the Consumer Price Index’ (ABS 2016) detailed research into a selection of multilateral methods being considered. This publication assessed the different methods against a framework comparable with the ABS Data Quality Framework (DQF) and was supported by empirical evidence. Findings from this work demonstrated support for using a multilateral method in the Australian CPI, but did not recommend a specific method.
In light of further research and external consultation with international experts, the ABS is now in a position to make an informed decision. This publication provides the plans for implementation of a multilateral method into the CPI. It explains the choice of method and aggregation structure, and concludes with a timeline toward implementation.