Consumer prices Consumer prices

Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) measure the changes over time in the prices of consumer goods and services acquired by households. They are fully comparable across all countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). The euro area HICP provides the official target indicator for the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policy. The ECB has defined price stability to mean an annual rate of increase of the HICP of below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term. Furthermore, HICP are used in the assessment of inflation convergence as required under Article 121 of the Treaty of Amsterdam (Article 109j of the Treaty on European Union).

HICP are broken down by category of consumption expenditure on the basis of the COICOP/HICP nomenclature. Moreover, some Special Aggregates are also available, for example indices covering goods, services, energy, or indices excluding some components as energy and unprocessed food, etc. The HICP is an annually chained Laspeyres-type index with the index reference year 2015 (2015 =100). 

Inflation rates are calculated on a monthly (inflation over the year up to a given month; month-to-month rates) and annual basis (year-on-year). Data presented are not seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data can be found on the ECB's website. A flash estimate of the current annual euro area inflation rate as well as rates for some special aggregates are compiled at the end of each month.

For more information about data availability and methodology of calculation contact us.