Assessment of the Living Costs and Food Survey

We are currently assessing the extent to which the Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF), run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), meets the professional standards set out in the statutory Code of Practice for Statistics. The Code of Practice is a regulatory framework based on the trustworthiness, quality and value of statistics.

The data collected through LCF feed into a number of ONS statistics on household incomes and expenditure. The main results from LCF are published in the annual report ‘Family Spending in the UK’. Outside of ONS, LCF data are used to provide information on spending patterns for price indices such as the Retail Price Index (RPI), and to inform food statistics. We are interested in understanding the extent to which LCF data are of sufficient quality for the purposes that they are used and whether they deliver public value.

We want your feedback

Capturing the views of users forms an important part of our judgement about the data. We would very much welcome your feedback about these statistics and would be grateful if feedback could be aligned to the following questions.

  1. Which statistics do you use, that incorporate LCF data, and for what purpose?
  2. To what extent do you think LCF data provide insight into today’s economy?
  3. Are the data of sufficient quality for your needs, in particular do you consider them to be accurate enough, relevant and appropriately coherent with other data sources?
  4. Do you have any views on alternative approaches to collecting household expenditure data, or ways that the existing survey could be developed to increase the value of the end data and statistics?

To contribute to our assessment, please get in touch with one of our assessment team: Elise Baseley, Chris Davies and Isabel Ralphs. We look forward to receiving your comments by 7 May.