The process of monitoring South Africa’s consumer price inflation (CPI) is going digital. Government’s statistics service, Stats SA, said on Friday that it has decided to “explore possible digital alternatives to the paper-based collection which currently informs the CPI”.
The aim, it said, is to “equip the field force with handheld devices, which will be able to remotely download and upload data”.
The CPI is the country’s primary measure of inflation, and is published monthly by Stats SA.
“Feeding into the inflation rate are approximately 65 000 prices, collected by 100 field workers across more than 20 different towns, cities and rural areas,” Stats SA said in a statement. “For each individual price, a paper questionnaire is generated in Pretoria, dispatched to a regional office and sent back to Pretoria for capturing once the data has been collected.”
Stats SA is now looking for expressions of interest from potential suppliers of digital data collection technologies. A compulsory information sharing session has been scheduled at the organisation’s office in Pretoria at 11am on 17 October. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media