Price Statistics – assessment by IMF mission

During March 24–April 11, 2014 the mission of the International Monetary Fund carried out a quality assessment of the consumer price indices (CPI) and producer price indices in industry (PPI) in Belarus.

The IMF mission on CPI and PPI quality assessment draw a conclusion that the consumer price index and industrial producer price index were calculated by Belstat in compliance with the international standards as specified in the CPI and PPI Manuals published by the IMF jointly with the ILO, World Bank, OECD, and UNECE.

The mission confirmed that Belstat followed international recommendations in recording prices and tariffs of utilities and goods included in the consumer basket (in particular, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products). Having reviewed the method used by Belstat to record differential electricity and cold water supply rates, the mission noted that this method was correct. Moreover, it is widely used in statistical practice. At the same time it was also mentioned that if there are several prices in place, the price dynamics of electricity and cold water supply must reflect an average price actually paid by households for these services. Exclusion of one of the price levels would lead to the understated average price of electricity and cold water supply.

In this regard, the mission approved the methodology that implied the inclusion in the CPI of all types of electricity, cold water and sewerage tariff rates existing in the country.

The mission also noted, as a positive point, that Belstat had implemented advanced methods of primary price data collection with the use of tablet computers and developed a new software for the calculation of indices.

The mission also held meetings with the government agencies that use this information.