Statistics office revamps consumer price index

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Statistics office revamps consumer price index

The national statistics office revised the composition of its consumer price index Friday, a process that takes place every five years, to better reflect current market conditions and trends.

The newly revised inflation index added prices of 18 new items, including blueberries and microwaves. The revision also signaled the growing healthy lifestyle trend in Korea, with products such as fitness equipment making the list. The price of dosiraks, or Korean packaged meals sold at convenience stores was included, as they have grown immensely popular recently.

“We revise the index every five years including surveyed locations and items,” explained an official with the price statistics division at Statistics Korea. “Basically depending on consumption pattern of Korean households, we remove certain items from the list and add others. The goal here is to make the index as accurate and reflective of current market trends as possible.”

The new index excluded prices of 10 items such as magazines and mackerel pike. Paper dictionaries were also cut.

“This is because more people are using computers or smartphones,” the Statistics Korea report explained. Also, with government aid for vaccinations expanding, fees for shots also were eliminated.

While the number of products included in the index decreased from 481 to 460, the survey size rose from 954 five years ago to 999 this time.

“We also conducted a survey for online shopping to mirror the growing trend of people shopping more through the internet,” the government official added.

“We base our revisions on the spending patterns of 2015 and the newly revised index is effective this month.”

Based on the revision, the consumer price index calculated for this year through November was 0.9 percent year on year, down 0.1 percent compared to the rate based on the previous index, the government reported.

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