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128-frequently-asked-questions - 21 May 2009 Issued by...

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Frequently Asked Questions 21 May 2009 Issued by Office for National Statistics Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG Media Office 0845 6041858 Retail Sales 01633 455602 [email protected] 1. Why have you recently changed your methods? ONS outputs undergo regular reviews to ensure they continue to be produced according to up-to-date internationally recognised best practice and standards. Regular review and updating of outputs and methods used to calculate the final retail sales estimates is needed to ensure they are produced to the highest possible quality and also meet changing user needs and demands. The last major methodological change for the retail sales estimates was in 2003. Retail sales estimation methods and systems have recently been thoroughly assessed by ONS which included comprehensive user consultation. The estimates on the updated methods, which include chain-linking and other changes, were released on 21 May 2009. 2. What are the changes you've made? The main changes were Use of chain-linking for the calculation of volume estimates Use of commodity indices from the Consumer Prices Index rather than from the Retail Prices Index for the calculation of RSI industry deflators Re-referencing the time series to 2005 equal to 100 Streamline the presentation of the published estimates in a new Statistical Bulletin An information paper describes the changes to the ONS retail sales estimates was published on 15 May 2009: 3. Will the method changes lead to historical revisions? Yes. The use of chain-linking, and other methodological changes, will mean that historical estimates were revised. An information article was released on 15 May
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Office for National Statistics, Information paper 2 2009 which compared the current published estimates to the new estimates. Revisions are different depending on the series.
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