The Consumer Price Index Manual: Concepts and Methods has been released and is posted below. A culmination of six years’ work, the 2020 Manual represents an update of the 2004 CPI Manual. The primary purpose of the Manual is to assist countries in producing CPIs that reflect internationally recommended concepts, methods and practices. It draws upon a wide range of experience and expertise to describe practical and suitable methods to guide countries in their efforts to improve the quality and international comparability of their CPIs and to meet user needs.

The Manual was endorsed by the 51st Session of the United Nations Statistical Commission as an official statistical standard on March 4, 2020.


Since the publication of the 2004 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Manual, methods and best practices have continued to evolve. During the 2014 UNECE-ILO CPI Experts Meeting, countries expressed a need for the CPI Manual to better reflect current best practices and to include more practical compilation advice.

The Intersecretariat Working Group on Price Statistics (IWGPS), including Eurostat, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the World Bank, endorsed and supported updating the CPI Manual with the IMF as lead agency. The IWGPS is responsible for the overall management and for the final approval of the updated Manual, to be presented for consultation of relevant national statistical authorities, and endorsement by the United Nations Statistical Commission.

A Technical Expert Group for the update of the CPI Manual (TEG-CPI) was constituted with international price index experts and compilers from national statistical offices. It provided drafting and review to assist in the update of the Manual.

The goal of the update was to produce a CPI Manual that includes more practical compilation advice for compilers. The update was not intended to include fundamental or comprehensive changes.

The main objectives of the update included:

1) Provide clearer and more prescriptive recommendations and guidelines in cases where research, methodological development and practical experience warrant such recommendations and guidelines, and where this is found useful.

2) Take into account experiences gained on the applicability and usefulness of the 2004 manual.

3) Incorporate relevant developments in methods and practices as well as theory and research over the last decade.

4) Update material on data sources, data collection methods and related calculation methods to reflect developments since 2004.

5) Reflect recent developments in user needs.

6) Harmonize the CPI concepts in line with the 2008 SNA.

The CPI Manual has global outreach and the update considered that the manual targets compilers and users in both developed and developing countries. The manual not only provides practical and theoretical guidance to compilers, but also serves as valuable resource for users of CPI data.

The draft chapters were posted on this website through the end of July 2018 for comment. Comments received from several national statistical offices and other organizations were incorporated in the draft chapters. During September – October 2019, the updated Manual was presented for global consultation with relevant national statistical authorities. Detailed feedback was received from nearly 60 countries.

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Consumer Price Index Manual: Concepts and Methods

Also available in: Russian 

CPI Manual: Concepts and Methods – Summary of Main Changes

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Consumer Price Index Theory

One of the key changes made when updating the 2004 CPI Manual, was to split the Manual into two publications. The first, Consumer Price Index Manual: Concepts and Methods, focuses on CPI compilation methods. The second publication, Consumer Price Index Theory, focuses on the conceptual and theoretical foundations that drive CPI compilation methods and practices.

The two main changes reflected in the Theory publication include the treatment of scanner data in the calculation of elementary aggregates and quality adjustment methods to deal with scanner data. Other updates have been made to reflect the theoretical underpinnings of evolving CPI methods.

The draft chapters of the Theory publication are posted below for review and comment. These chapters are unedited and are subject to editing to ensure consistency, correct internal references, etc. Updated draft chapters will be posted before they are final. Notifications will be sent to indicate when updated versions are available for review.

Please complete the Comment Form below and submit to Comments will be accepted through December 31, 2020.

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1. Introduction and Overview of CPI Theory

2. Basic Index Number Theory

3. The Axiomatic or Test Approach to Index Number Theory 

4. The Stochastic Approaches to Index Number Theory 

5. The Economic Approach to Index Number Theory 

6. Elementary Indices 

7. Scanner Data, Elementary Price Indexes and the Chain Drift Problem 

8. Quality Adjustment Methods 

9. Seasonal Products

10. The Treatment of Durable Goods and Housing 

11. Empirical Examples