TBILISI, DFWatch–11 new products including a guitar have been added to Georgia’s consumer basket, and four products were removed from the list.
The consumer basket is a theoretical collection of items used to define the consumer price index or inflation rate in a country, reflecting the structure of consumption of an average consumer in the country.
The consumer basket was increased in 2014 and now contains 295 items and services. The weight of the products and services making up the basket have also been updated.
“The weight of the groups and individual products (services) of the basket are based on the consumption structure of the National Accounts System and data from the Integrated Household Survey,” GeoStat explains, adding that the relative weight is updated annually, based on the latest information from the sources mentioned.
The updated consumer basket reflects the latest consumption patterns of the population, increasing reliability of the consumer price index, also called the inflation indicator.
Tengis Tsekvava, acting executive director of GeoStat, says that the structure of consumer spending changes annually and that is why the consumer basket is updated every year.
He said there are 12 groups of goods and services that are considered consumer expenses. The groups include food, nonalcoholic drinks, transport, communications, holiday, education, culture and healthcare.
“We observe average expenses of our consumers on different products and product groups,” Tsekvava says.
He said this year particular expenses were in the holiday group’s subordinate group called musical instruments and that was why musical instruments are now reflected in the basket. They are presented by the guitar now included in the list.
“By observing prices of the guitar we reflect a complete group of musical instruments in the basket.”
He also explains that the consumer basket shouldn’t be confused with the minimum wage basket, where there are only 40 products, defined by the Health Ministry. There are 40 food products which are necessary for humans to take, and they are defined by the World Health Organization.