The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures in index form the monthly changes in the cost of
purchasing a constant representative basket of consumer goods and services.
The Index is compiled using a large and representative selection of more than 207 separate
goods and services for which price movements are regularly monitored. Several separate
price quotations are used each month in compiling the Index.... Read More
The CPI is a statistical estimate constructed using the prices of a sample of representative
items whose prices are collected periodically. Sub-indexes and sub-sub-indexes are computed
for different categories and sub-categories of goods and services, are combined to produce
the overall index with weights reflecting their shares in the total consumer expenditures.
All items that are bought for consumption purposes have a price, which may vary over time.
Price indices are designed to measure such changes. A congenial way of understanding the
nature of such indices is to envisage a very large shopping basket consisting of different
kinds of goods and services bought by a typical household. As the prices of individual items
in this basket vary, so does the total cost of the basket. Price indices are measures of the
month-to-month change in this total cost. No two households spend their money in exactly
the same way. Although price indices do not apply to any one household or person, they
reflect the phenomenon of inflation for the great majority of households.
The annual percentage change in a CPI is used as a measure of inflation. A CPI can be used
to index (i.e., adjust for the effect of inflation) the real value of wages, salaries, pensions, for
regulating prices and for deflating monetary magnitudes to show changes in real values. In
this country, the CPI is, along with the population census and the Gambia National Income
and Product Accounts, one of the most closely watched national economic statistics
The Consumer Price Index is released monthly, usually by the 15th of each month following
that to which the data refer. Figures and a short commentary are available on a bulletin. A
detailed breakdown of the Consumer Price Index is also published in the Monthly Statistical
excel Spread sheet. Summary tables of inflation rates and the Consumer Price Index are for