The HICPs are economic indicators constructed to measure the changes over time in the prices of consumer goods and services acquired by households. The HICPs give comparable measures of inflation in the euro-zone, the EU, the European Economic Area and for other countries including accession and candidate countries. They are calculated according to a harmonised approach and a single set of definitions. They provide the official measure of consumer price inflation in the euro-zone for the purposes of monetary policy in the euro area and assessing inflation convergence as required under the Maastricht criteria.
HICP data, including backdata, is revisable under the terms set in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1921/2001. When updated (see release calendar), the database overwrites existing data with the revised data and those changes will only be flagged for a short period, generally until the next update.
If you are dealing with indexation you should bear in mind that HICP can be revised at any point in time. Revisions may also affect backdata. To trace revisions, please refer to the monthly HICP publication 'Data in Focus' (pdf).
Compendium of HICP reference documents - July 2013
Working document regarding Harmonised Indices of consumer prices, divided into two sections: Legislation and Recommendations.
The full set of HICP data is available in the free on-line database (Prices/Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices). You can customize your data extractions using the interfaces provided. HICP was rebased to 2005=100. More details on the practical implications of the rebasing can be found in the News Release 146/2005 of 16 November 2005. Available data (2005=100):
* Index * annual rate of change * monthly rate of change * 12-month average rate of change
* average index and rate of change
* Country weights * Item weights
Weights are revised yearly and released with the January data. Country weights for the current year can also be found in the Annex to the January inflation News release, published in February each year. Over 30 special aggregates have been created for economic analysis. These include, for example indices for goods, services, energy, or excluding some components as energy and unprocessed food. Special aggregates are revised according to the underlying classification's revision and the set aggregates were compiled to meet specific policies needs. Their definitions can be found in Eurostat's classifications server.
Data are not seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data can be found in the European Central Bank's website.
HICP are part of a series of Euro-indicators that are designed to give a general overview of the euro area, European Union and Member State's economic situation.
The tables include, for the latest 12 months:
* Indices * Growth rates with respect to the previous month (M/M-1) * Growth rates with respect to the corresponding month of the previous year
Data are automatically updated on release dates (see release calendar) and are neither calendar nor seasonally adjusted.
1. [All items (global index)] 2. [Food] 3. [Alcohol and tobacco] 4. [Clothing] 5. [Housing] 6. [Household equipment] 7. [Health] 8. [Transport] 9. [Communications] 10. [Recreation and culture] 11. [Education] 12. [Hotels and restaurants] 13. [Miscellaneous]
Further information and download options for the above tables can be found on the Euroindicators host page.
* [Annual average rate of change]
Compendium of HICP reference documents - July 2013
Working document regarding Harmonised Indices of consumer prices, divided into two sections: Legislation and Recommendations.
Available in English. The texts of section one 'Legislation', can be found in other EU languages on EUR-Lex website. See under 'Legislation'.
This Compendium is a Working document divided into three sections: General references, Legislation and Guidelines.
* The first regroups two Reports to the Council giving an overview of the harmonisation process up to 1998 and up to 2000, respectively, and a document on the computation of the HICP that includes calculation formula, weightings, etc. * The second section includes the collection of HICP regulations adopted up to 2001 * And the third section some guidelines.
The Compendium is available in English, French and German. Texts of section two 'Legislation', including texts adopted after 2001, and the Reports to the Council included in section one, can be found in other EC languages on EUR-Lex website. See under 'Legislation'.
The HICP reference metadata gathers, under a standard structure, references and summary information regarding data quality and the production process in general.
With a view to making European Statistics more accessible and clear, the National Statistical Offices producing HICP data are also documenting their national practices under the same structure.
Links to the reference metadata and national metadata are listed below:
* [Eurostat's HICP reference metadata]. * National HICP reference metadata:
For queries on national metadata, the concerned NSI should be contacted directly.
The Consumer Price Recommendations wiki-based site gathers methodological information concerning Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) and Housing Statistics.
It is the result of discussions between Eurostat and data producers (the National Statistical Offices), data users (the European Central Bank, Commission services and other) and international experts. This wiki will be continuously revised and updated following new methodological developments in the field.
Information is organised in different categories:
* Recommendations that are currently being developed * Final Recommendations * Methodological questions from National Statistical Offices and Eurostat's answers * Housing Statistics (owner-occupied housing and house price indices)
The House Price Index (HPI) describes the price developments of all residential properties purchased by households (flats, detached houses, terraced houses, etc.), both newly built and existing, independently of their final use and independently of their previous owners. The Member States’ HPIs are compiled by the National Statistical Institutes. The euro area and the EU aggregate HPIs are compiled by Eurostat.
Data is also shown as part of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure Scoreboard (see further below).
The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) Scoreboard was released for the first time in February 2012 and is a set of early warning indicators system for surveilling macroeconomic imbalances. The alert system is based on these indicators, covering the major sources of macroeconomic imbalances, and on their respective 'alarm thresholds'.
In the context of the fundamental role played by housing markets in the current economic and financial crisis, the European Commission designated the House Price Index as one of the indicators in the MIP Scoreboard.
House Price Indices data used in the Scoreboard are taken from the data in the house price index database.
For more details on the please refer to the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure Scoreboard webpage.
Eurostat and National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) undertook a series of pilot projects to develop and compile housing price indices for Owner-Occupied Housing (OOH) in the framework of the HICP. As a key step towards producing the set of housing indicators, work has been done on the development of House Price Indices (HPIs).
These papers provide the experimental results from this research work, experimental house price indices for the EU, the euro area, Iceland and Norway, and explain their strengths and limitations.
Experimental house price indices - (2005Q1-2012Q2) - October 2012 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q1-2012Q1) - July 2012 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q1-2011Q4) - April 2012 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q4-2011Q3) - January 2012 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q3-2011Q2) - November 2011 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q2-2011Q1) - October 2011 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q1-2010Q4) - September 2011 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q1-2010Q3) - July 2011 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q1-2010Q2) - April 2011 Experimental house price indices - (2005Q1-2010Q1) - December 2010
The Owner-Occupied Housing (OOH) price indices in the framework of HICP are established in Commission Regulation (EC) No 93/2013 of 1 February 2013.
Commission Regulation (EC) No 93/2013 makes reference to a Methodological manual which covers the most important principles and aspects of the methodological framework for Owner-Occupied Housing and House Price Indices (HPI) produced pursuant to the Regulation.
The Manual referred to in Commission Regulation (EC) No 93/2013 derives its principles from the material collected in the Detailed Technical Manual on Owner-Occupied Housing (version 2.0, March 2012).
The Detailed Technical Manual is grounded on the experiences that have been put forward by several European statistical offices participating in Eurostat-led OOH pilot work programmes since 2001. Although the primary goal of this detailed manual is to help NSI establishing an operational system of HPI and OOH indices following HICP standards, it may equally benefit all users who wish to learn more on this particular inflation measurement aspect.
Progress Report on Owner-Occupied Housing Statistical Programme Committee, Luxembourg 15 February 2007
Owner-Occupied housing for the HICP OECD-IMF Workshop, Paris 6-7 November 2006
Owner-Occupied Housing in the HICP - Progress report Statistical Programme Committee, Luxembourg, 27 May 2004
For most citizens, buying a residential property (dwelling) is the most important transaction during their lifetime.
Residential properties represent the most significant component of households’ expenses and, at the same time, their most valuable assets. RPPIs) are index numbers measuring the rate at which the prices of residential properties are changing over time. RPPIs are key statistics not only for citizens and households across the world, but also for economic and monetary policy makers. Among their professional uses, they serve, for example, to monitor macroeconomic imbalances and risk exposure of the financial sector.
This Handbook provides, for the first time, comprehensive guidelines for the compilation of RPPIs and explains in depth the methods and best practices used to calculate an RPPI. It also examines the underlying economic and statistical concepts and defines the principles guiding the methodological and practical choices for the compilation of the indices. The Handbook primarily addresses official statisticians in charge of producing residential property price indices; at the same time, it addresses the overall requirement on RPPIs by providing a harmonised methodological and practical framework to all parties interested in the compilation of such indices.
The RPPIs Handbook has been written by leading academics in index number theory and by recognised experts in RPPIs compilation. Its development has been co-ordinated by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, with the collaboration of the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Bank.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices at constant tax rates (HICP-CT) is a series of inflation indices that starts for most countries in 2002. The data provision is compulsory for every Member State since January 2013, following the adoption of the Regulation (EC) No 119/2013. The HICP-CT follows the same computation principles as the HICP, but is based on prices at constant tax rates. These new series show the potential impact of changes in indirect taxes (e.g. VAT and excise duties) on the overall inflation.
The HICP-CT is an important tool for analysing the causes of inflation and for forecasting the impact of future tax changes on inflation. It has to be emphasised that they do not provide an exact measure of the impact, rather an indication for the upper limit of the impact. In effect, the difference between HICP and HICP-CT growth rates points to the theoretical impact of tax changes on overall HICP inflation, assuming an instantaneous pass-through of tax rate changes on the price paid by the consumer.
Also HICP-CT have to follow common standards which are summarised in the reference methodology:
* [Reference methodology – version 1.0 April 2011]
More detailed information can be found in:
* [News Release 146/2009] * [HICP-CT Manual] * [Overview of VAT rates and changes in these rates] * [Overview of taxes - other than VAT - and excise duties]
The HICP - administered prices (HICP-AP) are a series of inflation indices, which were first released by Eurostat in February 2010. These new indices provide a summary of the development of administered prices (those prices directly set or influenced to a significant extent by the government), and their complement, prices which are not administered.
The HICP-AP is an important tool for analysing the causes of inflation and for forecasting inflation. It should be emphasised that these indices do not provide an exact measure of the development of administered and non-administered prices. In effect, the basic information from which these aggregate measures are derived does not fully distinguish administered and non-administered prices. HICP items which cover more than 50% administered prices are classified as administered.
For most EU Member States, the classification of individual COICOP/HICP items as administered prices is supplied by the National Statistical Institutes; for some other EU Member States, this classification was provided by the National Central Bank. For all countries, Eurostat together with the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs and the European Central Bank verified the final classification. The HICP-AP series will be labelled as 'experimental' for at least one year after their first release and until the successful completion of a further verification round in early 2011.
The following six aggregates for all EU Member States, the euro area and the EU are published by Eurostat:
* HICP of administered prices, of fully administered prices and of mainly administered prices. * HICP all-items excluding administered prices, excluding fully administered prices and excluding mainly administered prices.
These data, indices as well as rates of change, will from now on be regularly made available in Eurostat's online database.
For some Member States, HICP-AP figures may significantly differ from existing similar national measures, e.g. CPI-APs. The main reason is differences in coverage.
More detailed information can be found in:
* [News Release 28/2010] * [Definitions and explanations] * [HICP-AP National classification 2001-2013]
[Consumer prices research] - November 2013 In 2013, Eurostat and National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) carried out a fifth pilot project for the provision of data on price levels for a number of consumer goods and services, with reference to 2012. This work is to be seen as an extension to existing work on price statistics that includes the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) and Purchasing Power Parities ([PPP]). Both HICPs and PPPs are compiled as index numbers. Those two statistics show, respectively, aggregate data on the development of price levels over time and comparisons of price levels across countries. This project aims to present indicative price levels for specific groups of products as an additional set of price data. It is by no means a replacement for the measurement of inflation (HICP) or international price level comparisons (PPPs). This report provides results from the fifth pilot and explains the strengths and limitations of those results. It should be stressed that the results provided in this report are to be interpreted as indicative price levels for those product groups that consumers usually or typically buy nationally; they do not necessarily represent official national average prices. Eurostat and NSIs are currently preparing further research studies for 2013-2014 on the use of HICP, PPP and other alternative data sources to develop multi-purpose consumer price statistics. This shall lead to decisions for the medium-term on how to make available detailed data on price indices and indicative price levels. Previous publications: * [Consumer prices research] - December 2012 * [Consumer prices research] - October 2011 * [Consumer prices research] - February 2009 * [Consumer prices research] - October 2010
On 28 October 2009 the European Commission published a Communication on 'A better functioning food supply chain in Europe'. Among other challenges identified in this communication, the Commission seeks to 'increase transparency along the food supply chain to encourage competition and improve its resilience to price volatility'. One step towards increased transparency is the creation of a European food prices monitoring tool. In parallel to the Commission Communication, Eurostat is publishing a first version of such a tool, putting together data collected by Eurostat and National Statistical Offices. The primary aim of this tool is to bring together the available data on price developments in the different steps of the supply chain, comparing price developments for the relevant agricultural commodities, for the relevant food industries as well as for the chosen consumer goods. Some new and additional data has been collected and included in the monitoring tool a set of 8 more detailed HICP indices provided by the NSIs for this purpose. More information about this new monitoring tool can be found [here]. The Food supply chain (FSC) tool itself is directly accessible through the links below: * FSC - [Price indices] * FSC - [Annual rates of price change] Access to food price data via the Eurostat database can be found [here].
Eurostat must ensure that the statistical practices used to compile national HICPs are in compliance with HICP methodological requirements, and that good practices in the field of consumer price indices are being followed. In this section Eurostat's compliance monitoring strategy is summarised and Information Notes concerning the compliance of individual national HICPs will be made available as they are finalised.
* The Netherlands
* Czech Republic
* United Kingdom
Legislation relating to Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices includes:
* [Framework regulation] (2494/1995) * [Initial implementing measures] (1749/1996) * [Sub-indices] (2214/1996) * [Weights] (2454/1997) * [Coverage of goods and services] (1687/1998) * [Geographic and population coverage] (1688/1998) * [Treatment of tariffs] (2646/1998) * [Treatment of insurance] (1617/1999) * [Revised sub-indices] (1749/1999) * [Treatment of products in the health, education and social protection sectors] (2166/1999) * [Timing of entering purchaser prices] (2601/2000) * [Treatment of price reductions] (2602/2000) * [Treatment of service charges] (1920/2001 and [corrigenda]) * [Minimum standards for revisions] (1921/2001 and [corrigenda]) * [Common index reference period] (1708/2005) * [Temporal coverage of price collection] (701/2006) * [Sampling] (1334/2007) * [Seasonal products] (330/2009) * [Weights] (1114/2010) * [Owner-occupied housing] 93/2013 * [HICP at constant taxes (HICP-CT)] 119/2013
* [Recommendation on the treatment of issues relating to health care reform] (881/2005)
* [Report from the Commission to the Council on harmonisation of Consumer Price Indices in the European Union] (COM(1998) 104 final - 27.2.1998) * [Report from the Commission to the Council on harmonisation of Consumer Price Indices in the European Union] (COM(2000) 742 final - 21.11.2000)
DATA_DESCR Harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICPs) give comparable measures of inflation for the countries and country groups for which they are produced. They are economic indicators that measure the change over time of the prices of consumer goods and services acquired by households. In other words, they are a set of consumer price indices (CPIs) calculated according to a harmonised approach and a single set of definitions. In particular, HICPs provide the official measure of consumer price inflation in the euro area for the purposes of monetary policy and the assessment of inflation convergence as required under the Maastricht criteria for accession to the euro. HICPs are available for all EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. In addition to the individual country series there are three key country-group aggregate indices: the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP or EA) covering the euro area countries, the European index of consumer prices (EICP or EU) including all Member States, and the European Economic Area index of consumer prices (EEAICP), which in addition to the EU also covers Iceland and Norway. The official country-group aggregates reflect the evolution of Economic and monetary union, the EU and the EEA. HICPs for new Member States are chained into the aggregate indices at the time of accession. In addition to these official aggregates, Eurostat computes also country aggregates with stable composition over time. For example, the aggregate 'EU-28' shows price indices covering all current 28 Member States since 1997. There are also interim HICPs for candidate countries: Croatia and Turkey. It is expected that once those countries accede to the EU their HICPs will be fully comparable with those of the existing Member States. For USA only all-items proxy-HICP is available. The national HICPs are produced by National Statistical Institutes, while the country-group aggregates are produced by Eurostat. The data that is released monthly on Eurostat's free dissemination database include price indices themselves as well as their rates of change as monthly, annual and 12-month moving average changes. In addition to the headline figure, the all-items HICP, around one hundred sub-indices for different goods and services and over thirty special aggregates are made available. The relative weights for the indices, including the special aggregates, are published for the individual countries and for the country groups. An early estimate of the overall inflation rate for the euro area, as well as estimates for its four main components, are published in a news release monthly, usually on the last working day of the reference month. They are called HICP flash estimates.
CLASS_SYSTEM The HICPs are classified according to the four-digit categories and sub-categories of the COICOP/HICP (Classification of individual consumption by purpose adapted to the needs of HICPs). There are also a set of special aggregates, which combine indices in a different way than the standard COICOP. Main COICOP/HICP headings:00. All-items (global index)01. Food and non-alcoholic beverages02. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco03. Clothing and footwear04. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels05. Furnishings, Household equipment and routine maintenance of the house06. Health07. Transport08. Communication09. Recreation and culture10. Education11. Restaurants and Hotels12. Miscellaneous goods and services Examples of special aggregates:- Energy - Food, alcohol and tobacco - All items excluding energy - All items excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco
STAT_CONC_DEF The published data is as follows: Monthly data:- Indices (HICP 2005=100, HICP: 1996=100, HICP at constant taxes 2005=100)- Annual rates of change- Monthly rates of change- 12-month average rate of change Annual data:- Average index and rate of change- Country weights- Item weights
STAT_UNIT Each published index or rate of change refers to the 'final monetary consumption expenditure' of the whole household sector of the corresponding geographical entity.
STAT_POP The target statistical universe is the 'household final monetary consumption expenditure' (HFMCE) within the economic territories of the countries compiling the HICP. The household sector to which the definition refers includes all individuals or groups of individuals irrespective of, in particular, the type of area in which they live, their position in the income distribution and their nationality or residence status. These definitions follow the national account concepts in the European System of Accounts (ESA 1995). HICPs comprise all products and services purchased in monetary transactions by households within the territory of a country; those by both resident and non-resident households (i.e. 'domestic concept').
REF_AREA European Union (EU), euro area (European Monetary Union), European Economic Area (EEA), EU Member States, Iceland, Norway Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.
BASE_PER HICPs are produced and published using a common index reference period (2005=100). A set of monthly HICP series using 1996 as reference year (1996=100) is also available.
UNIT_MEASURE Following units are used: Index (unitless, however, the HICP can be thought of as the amount the average consumer would have to spend in a given year to buy the same basic goods and services that one would have to pay 100 monetary units for in the base period.) Percentage change on the same period of the previous year (rates) Percentage change on the previous month (rates) Percentage share of the total (weights).