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Information Note - The CPI collects prices but does not set charges applied to customers

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CSO Information Note, 29 March 2023, 11:30am

What is the CPI?

The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is the official measure of inflation in Ireland.

The CPI tracks the change in prices of a fixed basket of goods and services that are representative of the spending habits of Irish households.

The CSO’s Role

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) provides free, independent statistical information on Ireland’s economy, people, and society. In terms of the CPI, our role is to collect data on prices, compile the data, and publish the results in our monthly CPI release.

The CSO compiles the CPI but does not set or decide the rate of inflation or decide on charges applied to consumers by any service provider. The CSO does not advise businesses on which index or sub-index to use in contracts or pricing strategies, nor do we comment on how our indices are used.

Any concerns or questions you have regarding the use of the CPI in determining bills, contracts, or pricing plans should be referred directly to the service provider concerned.

How does the CSO collect the data?

The CSO’s CPI section collects approximately 50,000 prices each month for a representative basket of goods consisting of 615 items such as bread and milk. Each month approximately 30 CSO price collectors make in-person visits to retailers and this data is supplemented with manual internet pricing searches and by files received directly from large retailers each month. The final CPI figure used as the official measure of inflation is made up of a weighted aggregation of these 615 fixed items.

If you would like more information on the CPI, see a short explainer video below.

Why you can Trust the CSO

Learn about our data and confidentiality safeguards, and the steps we take to produce statistics that can be trusted by all.