LONDON Britain's Office for National Statistics plans to shift the focus of its inflation data to a new measure which includes more housing costs by around the end of the year, assuming it can overcome data problems in the next six months.
The consumer prices index (CPI), which the Bank of England has used for its inflation target since 2003, will continue to be published, but the ONS's chief statistician said he would encourage people to use the newer, more housing-heavy CPIH.
The ONS first published CPIH as an official statistic in 2013 but the body which supervises the ONS said in 2014 that it fell below acceptable quality standards.
CPI is calculated in the same way as the euro zone's harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP), following a pattern set out by European Union statistics agency Eurostat, and does not include the housing costs of people who own their own homes.
CPIH does not measure house prices or mortgage payments, but instead estimates how much a home-owner would pay to rent their own home. It will also be expanded from its current form to include council tax, a local property tax.
Annual inflation rates measured by CPI and CPIH have generally been similar, and in January were 0.3 percent for CPI and 0.6 percent for CPIH.
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg and Alison Williams)