Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Indices (CPI) measure changes over time in general level of prices of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption.

CPI is widely used as a macroeconomic indicator of inflation, as a tool by governments and central banks for inflation targeting and for monitoring price stability, and as deflators in the national accounts.

CPI is also used for indexing dearness allowance to employees for increase in prices.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has revised the Base Year of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 2010=100 to 2012=100 with effect from the release of indices for the month of January 2015.



The Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) is an important statistical/economic indicator.

It was first introduced on scientific lines with base 1960=100 which was based on the results of Family Living Survey conducted in 1958-59 at 50 industrially important centres.

The series was then, updated on base 1982=100 and a revision in 1999-2000 has further updated the base on 2001=100.

The current series of CPI-IW with base year 2001=100 covers 78 industrially important centres spread across the country.

All the technical papers pertaining to various issues in updating the base are prepared by Labour Bureau on the basis of existing guidelines of Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Statistics of Prices and Cost of Living (SPCL).

These technical issues are examined and approved by various committees at various levels such as Standing Tripartite Committee (STC), subgroup of TAC on SPCL, TAC and National Statistical Commission (NSC) etc. before their implementation at each step.

This index is released on the last working day of the month.

It is used for wage indexation and fixation of dearness allowance for government employees.



The Consumer Price Index for Urban Non-Manual Employees [CPI (UNME)]  numbers on base 1984-85=100 in respect of 59 urban centers and all -India were earlier compiled and released by the Central Statistical Organisation, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

This price index has limited use and is basically used for determining dearness allowances (DAs) of employees of some foreign companies operating in India.

This index depicts the changes in the level of average retail prices of goods and services consumed by the urban segment of the population.

The target group of this index was urban families who derived major portion of their income from non-manual occupations in the non-agricultural sector.

The release of all-India linked CPI (UNME) has been discontinued with effect from January 2011.



Labour Bureau has been compiling CPI Numbers for Agricultural Labourers since September, 1964.

The base of CPI(AL) was 1960-61=100.

The Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) has 1986–87 as its base year with 260 commodities in its basket.

The data is collected in 600 villages with a monthly frequency and has three week time lag.

This index is used for revising minimum wages for agricultural labourers in different states.



The Consumer Price Index for the Rural Labourers (CPI-RL) has 1983 as its base year.

The data is collected at 600 villages on monthly frequency with three weeks time lag, its basket contains 260 commodities.


CPI All India

The government has revised the base year of the All India CPI series from 2010=100 to 2012=100 starting with the January 2015 reading to be released on 12 February 2015.

The weights of the sub-components within the new CPI basket will be based on the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) of 2011-12, against the old/current basket individual weights based on CES of 2004-05.

The number of items will also increase from 437 to 448 in the rural basket and from 450 to 460 in the urban basket.

Compared with the old basket, the weights of the food and fuel groups have been reduced in the new basket.

The weights of the miscellaneous and clothing, bedding and footwear groups have been increased.

With these changes, the weight of the Core group (CPI ex-food and fuel) will rise to 47.3% from 42.9% earlier.