The Statistics Office will be conducting a Household Expenditure Survey (HES) from mid-September to mid-November 2017, as per the Statistics Ordinance, 2000. This is the ninth such survey to take place on the Island.

Statistical Commissioner, Neil Fantom, explains:

“The primary purpose of this survey is to update the ‘shopping basket’ used to measure the impact of price inflation on households. Inflation is currently measured on St Helena using the Retail Price Index (RPI), which tracks the change in price of an average household weekly shopping basket each quarter. 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 as accurately measured as possible.”

Fieldwork for the survey will commence in mid-September and is expected to take about eight weeks to complete. 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. They will aim to collect data from one in every ten households, sampled from a list of all resident households obtained during the 2016 Census and updated with information from other sources.

A household questionnaire will be used to ask questions on the characteristics of the household and household members, plus details about infrequent purchases, such as appliances and furniture. An additional expenditure diary will ask survey respondents to record the value and description of every item they purchase over a two-week period, plus other items acquired from home consumption and as gifts.

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.

Neil concluded:

“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. Good data does not guarantee good policies, but it’s really very hard to craft good policies without it. So it’s really very important that households participate in the survey, and we ask everyone on St Helena to kindly co-operate as much as they can. I know it requires some time to do, but the effort will be really appreciated and the very experienced enumeration team from the Statistics Office will make the process as painless as they can. Additionally, several local businesses have kindly offered some of their goods and services to be part of a hamper, which we will raffle among those households that participate.”

Further information will be provided over the coming weeks.

#StHelena #Statistics #HES #RPI


5 September 2017




St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470