SCAD Gives an Overview about CPI and Economic Surveys in the Ramadan “Barza” Discussion Platform

Abu Dhabi: Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) is participating in the Abu Dhabi Ramadan Barza (Discussion Platform), organized by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in collaboration with SCAD and a number of government and semi-government agencies in Abu Dhabi. The event is scheduled for July 31 and August 1st.

The Centre looks forward to continued participation in the Barza in the future in light of its strategic plan, which aims to serve the government as well as the business sectors, media, researchers and the public, in order to disseminate statistics that cater to the needs of sustainable development for all key sectors in the Emirate.

On Day 1 of the Barza platform, SCAD will give a review illustrating the importance of the consumer prices index (CPI) in the promotion of statistical awareness about consumption among the public, especially in the holy month of Ramadan and other periods where the index can reflect the movement of prices and rates of inflation, thus helping better planned spending. In addition, the CPI offers a baseline for government authorities concerned to monitor prices, ensure that there is sufficient supply of various goods and exercise consumer protection. The CPI report will be published weekly during the month of Ramadan starting on Sunday. It will reflect consumption patterns the holy month thereby providing inputs for future planning in this regard.

SCAD indicated that it has a plan in place to monitor the prices of food commodities on a daily basis during the months of July and August 2012, a task to be performed by a team of expert statisticians. A daily index for the prices of food commodities has been compiled for this purpose. Weekly reports will give week-over-week as well as yearly comparisons with the corresponding week in the previous year. Weekly figures will also be compared with those of June in addition to a set of other weekly comparisons that reflect the impact of Ramadan on food prices.

The Center added that the methodology of the new daily food price index has already been approved; pointing out that it is consistent with relevant international recommendations and standards. The index has been compiled on the basis of a basket, consisting of 308 food items that make up the “food and non-alcoholic beverages” expenditure sub-group. The basket goods fall into two main groups and 11 sub-group, but daily monitoring will cover of the most important 199 commodities only. The report will indicate the relative weight of each individual commodity.

On day two SCAD will give an overview of its Economic Survey Programme, one of the emirate’s key projects. This year’s programme covers the activities of economic establishments for the years 2010 and 2011 and seeks to build a sophisticated database on seven major economic sectors in the emirate to meet the rising need for data in light of the emirate’s economic development and growth.

The program will survey establishments in all areas of the economy – including the activities of mining and quarrying, manufacturing industries, production and distribution of electricity, water and sanitation; building and construction; wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; transport and storage; information and communications; financial and insurance activities (banks, financial intermediation services and insurance); the service sector, which includes a variety of services such as hotels, restaurants, real estate services, health, educational, legal, accounting, personal, social, sporting and other services.

SCAD explained that the programme will provide the data necessary for compilation of national accounts and estimation of the contribution of the activities surveyed to the gross domestic product. The data collected through the project will also serve the needs of businesses and investors to make informed and appropriate decisions and to enable them to evaluate their investment decisions.

The survey data will be used in the creation of a comprehensive statistical database for the Emirate, covering the conventional economic sectors as well as the Emirates’ ten future development activities. The database will also provide data to assess the extent of economic diversification and development in non-oil sectors. Additionally, the survey results will serve as baseline data to monitor progress in achieving Abu Dhabi Government’s agenda and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision – 2030, thereby contributing towards building the national statistical system in the United Arab Emirates through the provision of detailed data on the economy of the Emirate.

SCAD continues to call upon the entrepreneurs and mangers of the establishments to be surveyed to cooperate with its enumerators, stressing that that such cooperation is critical to the project success.

Butti Ahmed Al Qubaisi Director-General of the SCAD, seized this opportunity to extend his congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on the occasion of holy month of Ramadan, praying to Allah Almighty to bring back the holy month with blessings and good health for their highnesses, and to safeguard the nation’s security and prosperity under its wise leadership.