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2018-19 Household Expenditure Survey update

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All the data from the Household Expenditure Survey, which closed in June 2019, has been input and is in the process of being double-checked and cleaned.

Once finalised, it will be published in the same level of detail as the results of the last survey, which can be found on https://gov.gg/household. It is also used to update the "basket" of goods and services that is used to measure retail price inflation and the weights applied to items in the basket.

Helen Walton, Head of Data & Analysis said,

"We've already made a head-start on updating the basket, using the provisional data. We make sure that the basket contains all the most frequently bought items from the most popular suppliers, as it's not practical to monitor the price of every single item that people buy. The basket contains about 1,800 individual items and one of our team checks the price of each of them every quarter.

We make minor updates to the basket each quarter, as particular items are discontinued, re-sized or superseded for example, but once every few years we do a major review like this to make sure it's still representative. There is an amazing amount of detail in the survey data, thanks to all the participants, which really helps.

More online retailers will be included, including for some food and drink purchases, such as dried fruit, tea and coffee. We'll be making sure hedge veg is appropriately represented too, although that is naturally a bit of a challenge due the seasonal nature of the products available.

We'll be adding more digital subscriptions for films, books, music and games which will have a higher weighting and reducing the number of CDs and DVDs which will have a lower weighting. We'll be seeking prices for some totally new items too, such as action cameras, fireworks, boats and cycling helmets. Plus dropping some items that few people buy any more."

A full list of updates will be published once the review is complete and updated inflation basket and weights are in place, which is expected to be July 2020.

1,027 households took part in the Survey in total (equating to 2,399 people). They all completed an interview, which captured information on regularly recurring payments and large purchases, such as vehicles, TVs and holidays.

995 of the households (2,343 people) also completed a spending diary, in which they recorded everything else that they bought during a fortnight. The fortnights we spread over the year from May 2018 to June 2019. Between them, they collectively recorded buying over 140,500 items in a fortnight, with the most frequently recurring being cartons of milk.

Once the data has been finalised, the full survey results will be published on www.gov.gg/hes and the new inflation basket weights will be published on www.gov.gg/rpi.

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