Retail Services Price Index

Detailed information for fourth quarter 2006 (pilot)





Record number:


The purpose of the survey is to collect and compile price data to measure the monthly change in the movement of the price of retail services. These price data are combined and the component indexes chained to form a price index. The estimates are produced on a quarterly basis.

Data release - This is a pilot survey. Data will not be available.


The Retail Services Price Index is constructed from data collected by The Retail Trade Price Report. These price data are combined to estimate a price index for retail services that can be joined with other business services indexes to provide better estimates of real output and productivity, monitor inflation and feed an important research agenda at Statistics Canada.

Statistical activity

These indexes are a part of the Services Producer Price Index program (SPPI) at Statistics Canada.

The SPPI program develops and produces price indexes for a wide range of business service categories. This initiative fills an important data gap in the area of economic statistics and has resulted in a more comprehensive set of service price indexes. It also allows Statistics Canada to produce more accurate estimates of real value added of the Gross Domestic Product and changes in productivity.

Collection period: Data will be collected during the quarter following the reference period.


  • Prices and price indexes
  • Retail and wholesale
  • Service price indexes

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all establishments classified to the retail sector on the Business Register (BR) as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS 2002), excluding Automobile and Other Motor Vehicle Dealers and Non-Store Retailers (NAICS 4411, 4412 and 454).

Instrument design

The Retail Trade Price Report questionnaire was developed at Statistics Canada and was reviewed and tested in the field in both official languages by the Questionnaire Design Resource Centre (QDRC). In the course of developing the questionnaire, Statistics Canada consulted with a number of large retailers as well as with industry associations including the Retail Council of Canada.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up.

The sample consists of 2200 retail businesses which were selected based on establishment revenue and stratified by 6-digit NAICS. Each NAICS stratum was further stratified by take-all (large units) and take-some (smaller units).

In order to take full advantage of the information and infrastructure provided by an existing retail survey, the sampling design involved 3 stages of sampling:

1. Sampling of business units with probability proportional to size (revenue).
2. Sampling of commodity groups with probability proportional to size (revenue).
3. Sampling of specific commodities/products (of representative items based on revenue) to be determined by respondent.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2007-01-01 to 2007-01-31

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Collection will be quarterly and the survey will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will consist of identifying and collecting baseline information on the main products/services sold by the retailers in our sample. A questionnaire will be sent to each retail respondent (Questionnaire A), together with a letter of introduction informing them about the survey. Follow-up will be conducted using a Blaise CATI system.

In the second phase, respondents will be sent another questionnaire (Questionnaire B) and they will be asked to provide monthly vendor and retail price information for the principal products/services sold by the business. Respondents will also be asked to identify the main reason for any vendor and/or retail price change. Follow-up will be conducted using a Blaise CATI system.

Each quarter, respondents will be asked to authorize the use of pre-filled questionnaires containing the information they reported for that quarter.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

During data collection, on-line edits are performed to check for consistency and to ensure that the captured information is numerically valid and that all data fields are completed. Extensive processing procedures are in place to identify outliers, to ensure that the data make sense and that there are no unexpected fluctuations in product/service prices from period to period. Records failing these edits are subject to manual inspection and possible corrective action.


This methodology does not apply.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Collected data are converted to price indexes and data are released as such, so that it is not possible to identify the suppliers of raw prices.

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