Why does CPI not include housing prices?




The price level is a common concern of the common people. Since last year, the prices of various goods and services have risen, especially food and housing prices have risen, but the National Bureau of Statistics recently released the first quarter of this year, China’s economic performance shows that the consumer price index (CPI) only rose 2.8. %. This seems to be inconsistent with people's actual feelings. In fact, this can be seen from two perspectives: First, the price increase in this round is mainly driven by food, while the food expenditure of the low-income class accounts for a large proportion of household expenditure. On the other hand, it is more crucial because China's CPI statistics do not include housing price increases.

Why doesn't CPI include house prices? The National Bureau of Statistics, which is responsible for the preparation of CPI, explained that the purchase of commercial housing itself is essentially a concentrated payment in the short term, but the house is used for consumption in the next few decades, and its purchase and consumption behavior are not synchronized. If the short-term purchase of housing expenditure is directly included in the current CPI statistics, not only will the compiled CPI be highly volatile due to the cyclicality of the commercial housing market, and it will not be able to truly reflect the price changes of all consumer expenditures corresponding to the actual consumption content of the current residents. And because the purchase of commercial housing is attributed to the investment in the statistical caliber, the CPI thus compiled cannot be used well for national accounting.

There is a loophole in this explanation: First, the individual's buying behavior is mixed with the overall market. For the individual, the short-term buying expenses reflect the housing consumption price level in the next few decades, but it cannot be inferred from the overall market. of. Because although the whole is made up of individuals, there is a fundamental difference between them: the individual reflects only the process of buying, and the whole reflects the process of buying and selling, that is, when someone buys a house, someone sells it. house. In addition, a person may only buy a house once in his life, but the whole is continuous, and the market is full of people entering. To take a step back, even if the housing market is a one-time sale, CPI can't help but include the house. The same as the durable goods, cars, color TVs and other years of use are also very long, they can become the statistical object of CPI, why can't housing?

Second, it is impossible to use the statistical metrics to evade responsibility for investment. It is necessary to see that more people buy houses as a consumer product. Third, the difference between the increase in rent price and the increase in house price is too large. In the first quarter of this year, the average residential price in 35 cities nationwide rose by 12.5%, while the rental price only rose by 1.3%. How big is the difference between the two?

It can be seen that as a general indicator of inflation, if CPI does not include housing prices, it will seriously underestimate the price level, and it cannot accurately measure the operation of the overall economy. For example, the National Development and Reform Commission said earlier that if the CPI rose by 4%, it would not raise the price of energy and electricity. The increase of 2% is likely to be adjusted. Now that the situation has come out in the first quarter, is the National Development and Reform Commission going to adjust the price?




Zheng Jingping: The moderate upward pressure on price inflation in the first quarter still exists

In the first quarter of this year, China's market prices maintained a steady upward trend, and the national consumer price level rose by 2.8% year-on-year. Consumer price has always been a matter of great concern to all sectors of society. In the first quarter, food prices rose by 6.1%, a significant decrease from the level of 9.9% in 2004.

Stabilizing the overall price level is the most important

As the policy price adjustment factors of urban public service projects have increased significantly, this year, the increase in service prices will also be significantly greater than last year, which will become an important factor in the rise of the overall price level; the rise in international market prices and the depreciation of the US dollar will increase the import price of China. influences. As oil prices and iron ore prices continue to run at high levels, and even rise further, new pressures will be placed on China's overall prices.