26 October 2001, 09:37  Shiokawa urges review of methods for compiling CPI data

TOKYO, Oct. 26 (Kyodo) - Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa urged the government Friday to review the methods it uses to compile consumer price index (CPI) data in order to better reflect changing consumer attitudes. "I said at informal talks after the cabinet meeting that factors surrounding the consumer price index have changed substantially and that I want them reviewed," Shiokawa told a regular press conference. He said consumers are buying more goods via mail order than before and spending more on cultural accomplishments, adding such changes are not well reflected in the current CPI data Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Toranosuke Katayama responded that his ministry is reviewing the statistics to obtain more accurate views on consumption, according to Shiokawa. On Friday, the public management ministry said Tokyo consumer prices fell 0.1% in October from the month before. Meanwhile, Shiokawa reiterated the government's budget for fiscal 2002 could dip below 80 trillion yen for the first time in four years. "I think the fiscal 2002 budget may fall below 80 trillion yen, although I am not sure about that," he said. He said the fiscal 2002 budget will definitely be less than the fiscal 2001 budget of 83.6 trillion yen, which includes a proposed supplementary budget.

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