Consumer Price Index is just as important: NSO

The National Statistical Office says Consumer Price Index is as important as any other statistics.

Despite its significance and many uses, the Price Statistics Division of NSO is not adequately funded and more often than not, the division and its mother agency, NSO, are left to produce quarterly CPI reports with limited resources.

Financial constraint is every government agency’s enemy.

While many may argue that financial constraint related challenges are not a new story, the determination of producing CPI reports quarterly to compensate for the 12 lost years is nothing short of a challenge.

“If the government wants better and accurate figures or price index for the country, they must allocate adequate funding,” Pauka Karafa, Manager for Price Statistics, pointed out.

Apart from providing solid and evidence-based figures for policy development and implementation, CPI is used by public utility providers and rental owners to determine their prices and moreover, aids workers’ unions in their fight for wage increase for employees.

The price inflation rate as of December 2017 stands at 1.3 percent, indicating that Papua New Guineans continue to pay high prices for goods and services.

“Every time price index is high,” Karafa reiterated.

“You and I today feel the pain of the movement of the prices.”

From surveys collected from the 8 index centres, the cost of living is relatively the same.

The 2018 CPI for the first quarter is due in June.

(Pauka Karafa - Manager, Price Statistics)

Carolyn Ure