The consumer price index was first used in 1707. In 1925 it became institutionalised when the Second International Conference of Labour Statisticians, convened by the ILO, promulgated the first international standards of measurement. These original standards have been revised three times and are currently under review. Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) compiles and disseminates different CPI aggregates, including the Consumer Price Index; the Core Index; CPIX; and the Food Price Index or CPIF. StatsSA has gone to considerable trouble in complying with international best practice in the calculation of the CPI. Nevertheless, three problems still remain, namely that StatsSA works with an unsatisfactory definition of rural areas, that no provision is planned for sales through informal sector outlets, and that no provision is made for food consumed away from home.
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