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RPI consultation: Financial Times, 26 January 2013

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Letter for publication in response to an article in the Financial Times, 26 January 2013

Issue date: 26 January 2013
Type: Letter to the Press


Tim Harford criticised the outcome of the recent consultation into the Retail Prices Index ("Lies, damned lies and Greek statistics", 26 January). There is no obfuscation in the National Statistician's statement. It says that the RPI does not meet international standards, which is why ONS is developing a new measure - RPIJ. Should the government want to use a different, better, measure than the RPI it will be able to use RPIJ from next month. Indeed, ONS already produces a range of indicators, including the Consumer Prices Index, and users can choose whichever they think best meets their needs. The consultation's conclusion adds to users' knowledge about quality. Whether the RPI continues to be used for pensions and bonds is a choice for users, not ONS.

Yours faithfully,

Derek Bird
Head of Prices Division
Office for National Statistics,
Government Buildings,
Cardiff Road
NP10 8XG

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