Omission of data

Image: FBOS

The Fiji Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank says the omission of data on non-food items in the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2019-2020 (HIES) resulted in the underestimation of household expenditure, a technical note jointly released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank said.

The World Bank recently revised Fiji’s poverty rate to 24.1 per cent from 29.9 per cent after re-looking at data collected on utilities, communication services, domestic services and education expenditures.

The two entities list the omitted non-food data as electricity, water, gas, garbage collection, telephone, TV, broadband internet, post office box rentals, care of young children, handicap, or old persons and household chores, tuition fees, books fees and sports fees among others.

The Fiji Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank said in the HIES 2019-2020, if a household did not spend on all non-food items, expenditures for that entire category were not included in households’ total consumption.

“The revised consumption aggregate now includes all expenditures in each of the four categories regardless of whether households spent on all or just some sub-components of such categories.

“First, nominal non-food expenditures increase, while nominal food expenditures remain unchanged.

“As a result, total consumption increases.

“On average, the revision has led to an increase in nominal per adult equivalent consumption by 8.5 percent.

“While consumption rises for nearly all households, the increase is not homogeneous across households and thus alters the ranking of households by consumption.

“The revision has caused consumption to increase more in the Central and Western divisions, which together make up the main island of Viti Levu and account for 80 per cent of Fiji’s population.”

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