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Estimating Italian inflation using scanner data: results and perspectives
Alessandro Brunetti, Stefania Fatello, Federico Polidoro

Last modified: 2017-04-29


Scanner data coming from the retail trade outlets of modern distribution represent a crucial challenge for the inflation indicators. Istat is actively participating in the European project aimed at obtaining and processing scanner data to compile HICP. Since the end of 2013 a stable cooperation has been set up among Istat, Association of modern distribution, retail trade chains and Nielsen in order to provide Istat with scanner data. For 2014, 2015 and 2016, scanner data of grocery products have been collected by Istat through Nielsen for about 1400 outlets of the main six retail trade chains for 37 provinces. For 2016 and 2017 scanner data of about 2100 outlets for the entire national territory will be available. In sight of the adoption on large scale of scanner data to estimate inflation, scheduled for January 2018, experimental HICPs/CPIs of one ECOICOP group (non-alcoholic beverages) for two provinces are compiled using scanner data. A comparison with the indices currently released is carried out, providing some preliminary evaluation about the impact of the new sources of data on inflation estimation. Issues concerning formula of indices are dealt with and those regarding missing observations, imputations and replacements are explored.