The Statistics Office will be conducting a Household Expenditure Survey (HES) from mid-September to mid-November 2017, as per the Statistics Ordinance, 2000.
The primary purpose of this survey is to update the ‘shopping basket’ used to measure the impact of price inflation on households. From time to time, the composition of the basket needs to be reviewed through a survey, to make sure it represents the current average spending patterns of households and so that inflation can be measured as accurately as possible.
Before the survey starts, the Statistics Office will draw a sample at random and will pilot test the questionnaires. The sample will be drawn from a list of households obtained during the 2016 Census, updated with information from the land registry.
Statistics Officers will be visiting households to explain the purpose of the survey, what it entails, and to provide assistance with completing the questionnaires and forms. During the survey, the public can expect Statistics Office staff to be friendly, courteous, and professional, and they can expect them to treat any information provided with the strictest confidence. They will not divulge any information obtained from participating households to anyone outside of the Statistics Office.
At the first interview, enumerators will use a tablet computer to capture information about household members, the house they live in, and large items purchased or regular bills paid. They will leave a two-week expenditure diary for the household members to record their spending on regular items, and will arrange further visits at the convenience of the household.
Statistical Commissioner, Neil Fantom, said:
“We cannot stress enough the importance of this survey. The estimate of price inflation is one of the most heavily used economic indicators on the Island, and it affects many decisions. This survey is also the only data source that can be used to analyse family spending and consumption patterns, which can be used for other important policy purposes as well.
“Previous surveys have had good response rates, and we want to have a good response rate for this survey as well to ensure we have good and reliable data.”
All results gathered from the survey will be kept strictly confidential and will be used only for the purpose of compiling statistics, as required by the Statistics Ordinance.
A hamper sponsored by several Island businesses will be raffled among those households that participate in the survey.
Fieldwork for the survey will commence next week and is expected to take about eight weeks to complete.
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12 September 2017