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Changes to the Household Economic Survey

Between 2003 and 2006 the Household Economic Survey (HES) underwent significant redevelopment, with major changes to the collection methodology and classifications used.

  • Up until the 2006/07 survey, the HES was interviewer administered using paper questionnaires. HES now uses computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) to collect and store the data, with interviewers using laptop computers to administer most of the survey. The expenditure diary continues to be completed on paper by respondents, and this data is manually entered in the office.
  • A new expenditure classification was developed to meet the need for a common household consumption classification to better align with the Consumers Price Index, National Accounts and international standards. Consequently there is a break in the expenditure time series, and 2006/07 expenditure data is not directly comparable to previous years.
  • The Economic Living Standards Index (ELSI) (short form version) questionnaire was included in HES for the first time in the 2006/07 survey.
  • Other changes:
    o development of a new storetype classification
    o a move towards using standard classifications in other areas of the survey
    o updates for real world changes (benefit titles, names of banks, other name changes).

Further details on the main changes between the HES 2003/04 and 2006/07 surveys are outlined in the available file.


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