HC Deb 09 July 1958 vol 591 c27W
3. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent variations in household purchases of different kinds of food consequent on seasonal price changes such as affect potatoes and eggs are reflected month by month in the cost of living index; and how frequently the weighting of the food factors in the index is reviewed.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The official index of retail prices is designed to measure changes in prices only and not changes in quantities purchased. Prices of those items of which supplies vary seasonally, such as certain vegetables, are not used in compiling the index in any month unless such items are generally on sale.

We now have a small scale continuing inquiry—the Family Expenditure Survey—to enable us to check the weighting position. Thus the basis of the index is kept under constant review.