Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistics Estonia

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: EE1

Data Flow: HICP_ESMS_A

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Economic and Environmental Statistics Department

1.5. Contact mail address

51 Tatari Street
10134 Tallinn


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 15/03/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 15/03/2017
2.3. Metadata last update 15/03/2017

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICP) give comparable measures of inflation for the countries and country groups 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.

HICP at constant tax rates (HICP-CT) follows the same computation principles as the HICP, but is based on prices at constant tax rates.

3.2. Classification system

The HICPs are currently classified according to the ECOICOP (European Classification of individual consumption by purpose).

Main ECOICOP headings:
00. All-items (total or all-items index/rate);
01. Food and non-alcoholic beverages;
02. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco;
03. Clothing and footwear;
04. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels;
05. Furnishings, Household equipment and routine maintenance of the house;
06. Health;
07. Transport;
08. Communication;
09. Recreation and culture;
10. Education;
11. Restaurants and hotels;
12. Miscellaneous goods and services.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The HICP is a consumer price index, that is, it covers the consumption expenditure of the household sector.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The published data is as follows:


Monthly data (2015=100, 2005=100 and 1996=100)

Annual data


Monthly data (2015=100)

3.5. Statistical 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.

3.6. Statistical population

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 accounts concepts in the European System of Accounts  (ESA 2010).

HICP 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').

3.7. Reference area

Estonia, as a small country, does not have regions in NUTS terms. Prices are collected in 10 towns or price collection areas, which are considered to satisfactorily represent the whole country.

3.8. Coverage - Time

HICPs for Estonia are available from 1996 (earlier figures are estimates based on the national CPI). HICP-CT is published since 2002.

3.9. Base period

The index reference period is 2015=100.

The change of reference year causes revisions to a number of previously published inflation rates because of rounding effects. Thus, inflation rates for country aggregates calculated from the 2015=100 series can differ from the rates calculated from the 2005=100 series (see point 17.2 on 'Data revision practice').

The series with past reference periods (2005=100 and 1996=100) are included in dataset prc_hicp_midx. Those previous reference periods can be selected in the option 'Unit.

4. Unit of measure Top

The following units of measure are used:

  • Index (2015=100, 2005=100, 1996=100).
  • Annual rate of change (percentage change on the same period of the previous year).
  • Monthly rate of change (percentage change on the previous month).
  • 12-month average rate of change (average of the annual rate of change of the last 12 months).

Item and Country weights (percentage share of the total 'household final monetary consumption expenditure').

5. Reference Period Top

Month (indices and rates).

Year (weights, indices and rates).

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Regulation (EU) 2016/792 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on harmonised indices of consumer prices and the house price index, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 of 23 October 1995 and resets the legal basis for establishing a harmonised methodology for the compilation of the HICP, the euro area and the EU inflation figures.

This regulations gathers previous implementing legislation and covers over 20 specific governing issues, e.g. flash estimates, quality of weights, transmission and dissemination of sub-indices, coverage of goods and services, geographical and population coverage, minimum standards for the treatment of tariffs, insurance, health, education and social protection services, timing of entering prices, treatment of price reductions, treatment of service charges, revisions policy, new index reference periods, temporal coverage of price collection and sampling, replacement and quality adjustment procedures, seasonal items, and HICP at constant tax rates.

Recommendations on the treatment of rents, telecommunications and health care have also been agreed with Member States.

All legislation is applicable to Iceland and Norway (European Economic Area countries), and to Switzerland.

Legislation and recommendations can be found in the HICP section on Eurostat's website.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

According to policy rules (see point 7.1).

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Statistics Estonia: the release calendar is publically available and published in the beginning of October for the full following year. Eurostat publishes the release schedule each year around mid-November for the full following year.

8.2. Release calendar access

Statistics Estonia website: http://www.stat.ee/release-calendar. Eurostat website: HICP Release schedule.

8.3. Release policy - user access

Statistics Estonia: release date at 8 a.m. (7 a.m. CET) for all users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Harmonised consumer price indices are produced and disseminated monthly.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

By Eurostat.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

By Eurostat.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

HICPs are published on the database of Statistics Estonia and by Eurostat.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

See also The HICP dedicated section on Eurostat's website.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

HICP website: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/hicp/overview, Methodology.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

See Eurostat's Compliance Monitoring Reports of 2006 and 2010.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Controls on the quality of the data

Specification of products and prices are compared with previous month and questions transmitted to price collectors. There is no separate check of data entry: any possible errors are picked up at the next stage, while all price changes are checked item by item. A regular pre-publication meeting is held. Questions arising on sub-indices are discussed and, where necessary, clarified by the staff.

Eurostat monitors systematically compliance of Member States with the legal requirement to ensure that they are adhered to. The compliance monitoring is based on detailed documentation, analysis of data and methods as well as visits to the Member States in order to discuss with those responsible for the production of the HICP in the NSIs.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The quality of the HICP can be assessed to be high.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

In addition to being a general measure of inflation, the HICP is also used in the areas below:

  • Wage, social benefit and contract indexation;
  • Input to economic forecasting and analysis;
  • Measuring specific price trends;
  • Accounting purposes and deflating other series;
  • Inflation targeting by central banks;
  • Cross-country economic comparisons.

The euro area (evolving composition) index is used by the European Central Bank (ECB) as the main indicator for monetary policy management. Main users: ECB, Estonian Bank, Estonian Ministry of Finance and other financial institutions, economic analysts, the media and the public at large.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No special user satisfaction survey for HICP.

12.3. Completeness

All required ECOICOP indices at 5-digit level are produced from January 2016 indices.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy of source data is monitored by assessing the methodological soundness of price and weight sources and the adherence to the methodological recommendations. The accuracy of HICP is generally considered to be high.

13.2. Sampling error

Statistics Estonia does not produce numerical estimates of HICP sampling errors because they are difficult to quantify due to the complexity of price index structures and due to the common use of non-probability sampling. Consequently, no estimate for a global HICP sampling error could be produced.

13.3. Non-sampling error

For the HICPs non-sampling errors are not quantified.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

National data are transmitted in accordance with the deadline for transmission of HICP results to Eurostat.

14.2. Punctuality

HICPs have always been published on the pre-announced release dates.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Definitions and classifications have been harmonised in a series of legal acts that have resolved conceptual disparities. The work carried out for the harmonisation of quality adjustment and sampling methods across EU countries is expected to further improve the comparability of the HICP. The comparability of HICP across countries is regarded to be high.

15.2. Comparability - over time

HICP data considered to be comparable over time. There have been several improvements in methodology since HICP was introduced with the aim of improving reliability and comparability of the HICP. These changes may have introduced breaks in time series. However back calculations under the newer standards were not needed.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Differences between the HICP and national CPI

Domestic approach is used for HICP. National approach is used for CPI. There are no consumption expenditures which are included in the HICP but excluded from CPI. Some elements of games of chance (lotteries) are included in the CPI but excluded from HICP. HICP weights are price updated to December, but CPI weights are not price updated.

15.4. Coherence - internal

HICPs are internal coherent. Higher level aggregations are derived from detailed indices according to well-defined procedures.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Consumer Price Indices 2017: 285,1 thousands euros.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

HICP series, including back data, are revisable under the terms set in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1921/2001 of 28 September 2001. The published HICP data may be revised for mistakes, new or improved information, and changes in the system of harmonised rules.

17.2. Data revision - practice

HICP may be revised in accordance with Regulation 1921/2001.

There have been no Principel revisions since the introduction of this Regulation. The change of reference year caused revisions to some previously published inflation rates because of rounding effects.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Sample size (reference year 2017)

Average number of price observations per month (reference year 2017) is 23 000.

Central price collection is carried out for data processing equipment, mobile phones and phone services, package holidays, actual rent, new and second-hand cars, insurance, electricity, some transport services.

The regulation on tariffs has been applied for electricity, gas, some telecommunications services.

Number of national classification levels below ECOICOP five-digit may be one.

Number of price observations per month (reference year 2017)

All-items: 23 000

01 Food and non-alcoholic beverages 6 600

02 Alcoholic beverages, tobacco 1100

03 Clothing and footwear 2 500

04 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 1 700

05 Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 2 200

06 Health 700

07 Transport 2 800

08 Communications 150

09 Recreation and culture 2 600

10 Education  50

11 Restaurants and hotels  900

12 Miscellaneous goods and services 1 700


Number of representative items at the lowest classification level (reference year 2017)

All-items: 722

01 Food and non-alcoholic beverages 199

02 Alcoholic beverages, tobacco  34

03 Clothing and footwear  78

04 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels  44

05 Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 70

06 Health 75

07 Transport  59

08 Communications 9

09 Recreation and culture  67

10 Education  4

11 Restaurants and hotels  20

12 Miscellaneous goods and services  63

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Timing of price observation

The observation period is the week including the 15th of the month.

Prices are collected once a month, except for fuel prices, which are collected four times a month.

18.3. Data collection

Outlet selection

There are around 1900 selected outlets including services. Outlet selection is purposive and sample is updated annually. The selected outlet must have significant turnover and availability of selected products/services. The general strategy is to select typical outlets.
Techniques of product selection and specification

Item selection is purposive. Number of items depends on sub-group weight and variability of price movements of items in the sub-group.

Sources for selection of representative goods and services are: changes in weights, information provided by price collectors, European Comparison Programme (ECP), common knowledge.

Type of product specifications: both detailed and generic specifications are used.

18.4. Data validation

All price changes are checked item by item. A regular pre-publication meeting is held. Questions arising on sub-indices are discussed and, where necessary, clarified by the staff.

18.5. Data compilation


Sources of weights: National Accounts and Balance of Payments at the highest levels, HBS and other sources at the lower levels of aggregation.

Time period of current weights: quarterly estimates from HBS 2015-2016, NA 2015. Price updated to December 2016.

Frequency of weights update: annually.
Computation of lowest-level indices

Ratio of arithmetic mean prices is used in compiling price indices for elementary aggregates.

The further computation consists of three main steps:

  1. Price changes since December of the previous year are derived.
  2. The weighted average of  these price changes is computed, using the weights of the elementary aggregates and sub-indices concerned.
  3. The weighted averages of  these price changes are chain-linked to December of the previous year in order to provide a series with a common reference period.

Treatment of missing items and replacements

For the first month the price is removed from index calculations and weight is distributed among others or carried forward.

A replacement should be selected at the first month.

Selection of products to be replaced: price collectors select products with significant market share and where possible following the specification of last available product.
Introduction of newly significant goods and services

List of items is reviewed once a year and new products added or old items removed for the following January index. Dual price collection is carried out at least for two months.
Treatment of price reductions

Price reductions are taken into account.
Treatment of seasonal items

From 2011 the seasonal items are treated in accordance with the Commission Regulation (EC) No 330/2009.

Weights have been held constant throughout the year.

18.6. Adjustment

Adjustment for quality differences

Mobile phones and services: supported judgmental quality adjustment (QA).

New cars: the option cost approach.

Data processing equipment: the monthly chaining and resampling method is used.

19. Comment Top

No comments.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top