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Home > Statistics > Retail Price Survey >Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey) > Q&A about the Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey)

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Q&A about the Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey)


What is the Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey)?

 1. What type of survey is the Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey)?

The price structure that showed the price differences between regions and store types had been grasped by the National Survey of Prices conducted once every five years. However, as changes in the consumption and distribution structure had been accelerated, it became difficult to understand the changes in the price structure accurately by conducting a statistical survey on a 5-year cycle. Therefore, the National Survey of Prices was constructively reviewed, and items related to the price structure that had been grasped by the above survey were added to the Retail Price Survey as the "Structural Survey".
Accordingly, the name of the existing Retail Price Survey, which had been conducted to grasp the price trends, was changed to "Trend Survey". It was decided that the National Survey of Prices would no longer be conducted.

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 2. What can be subject to the Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey)?

The Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey) aims to clarify the price structure by conducting three types of survey: a survey on price differences between regions, a survey on prices by store type, and a survey on prices by specification.

  • The survey aims to grasp price differences between regions, such as prefectures. 56 items (58 specifications) that are expected to show price differences between regions and account for a large percentage of the household consumption expenditure, such as "Non-glutinous rice", "Food wrap", and "Toilet soap", are surveyed.
  • The survey aims to grasp prices by store type, such as supermarkets and conventional retail outlets. 9 items (9 specifications) whose prices can also be collected in stores other than supermarkets, such as "Non-glutinous rice" and "Facial tissue", are surveyed.
  • The survey aims to grasp prices by specifications which are not subject to the Trend Survey. 9 items (9 specifications), such as "Portable digital audio player" which has specifications that are likely to be subject to the survey, and "Yogurt" which has specifications sold in different forms, such as bundle sale, are surveyed.

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 3. How do you put the results of the Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey) to effective use?

Survey results are expected to be used as:

  • Basic data for formulation of government measures for employment and social security and preparation of white papers by comparing prices between regions, and clarifying the relation between living standards and prices in each region
  • Basic data for economic plans and price policies for each region formulated by local authorities
  • Study materials concerning improvement in the accuracy of the consumer price index, for example, when examining how to select survey subjects for the Trend Survey through analysis of prices by store type and specification
  • Data for analysis of price differences between regions and price structures by private research institutions

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Survey Method

 4. How do you select the survey subjects?

The survey on price differences between regions covers 167 municipalities subject to the Trend Survey, plus 88 cities other than the municipalities subject to the Trend Survey, with a goal of covering 50% or more of the population in each prefecture. The survey is mainly aimed at supermarkets that are considered to represent the whole area of the city surveyed in view of store size.

The survey on prices by store type covers prefectural capitals, except the Tokyo Special-wards Area, for which data on various types of store have already been obtained. The survey is aimed at representative stores in each store type (e.g., conventional retail outlets, discount stores).

The survey on prices by specification covers the Tokyo Special-wards Area that most keenly responds to changes in consumption and distribution. The survey is aimed at representative stores among the retail stores (establishments) that are specified in "Trend Survey".

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Publication of Survey Results

 5. When do you make the survey results available to the public?

In principle, the results of the Retail Price Survey (Structural Survey) are scheduled to be released by June in the year following the survey year.

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