Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT)

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: EL1

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

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT)

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Economic and Short-Term Indices Division

1.5. Contact mail address

46 Pireos & Eponiton str.
185.10 Piraeus
GREECE


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 06/04/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 06/04/2017
2.3. Metadata last update 06/04/2017


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 of 23 October 1995 (Framework Regulation) set the legal basis for the establishment of a harmonized methodology for compiling Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) in EU Member States.

During the first stage of implementation of the above EC Regulation, Member States were compiling interim indices, which were almost entirely based on the existing national CPIs. The interim indices of Consumer Prices were produced to reduce differences, in the coverage of goods and services, observed between the national CPIs and, therefore, health and educational services were entirely excluded. Certain other items not covered or treated differently in the national CPIs of Member States, were also excluded. These interim indices were compiled at the level of an overall index. Their base year was 1994=100.0 and they were published by the Member States and Eurostat throughout the year 1996 (with retrospective data from 1994).

In accordance with the second stage of implementation of the above Regulation, the Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICPs) replaced the interim indices of Consumer Prices and they are produced so far by the Member States. The HICPs started to be published since 7 March 1997 (with retrospective data from January 1995) and their base year was 1996=100.0, till December 2005.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1708/2005 layed down detailed rules for the implementation of the Framework Regulation and set the basis for changing the HICP reference period from 1996=100.0 to 2005=100.0. From January 2006 the HICPs were being calculated with reference period 2005=100.0. By Commission Regulation (EU) No 2015/2010  of 11 November 2015, amending Regualtion 1708/2005, a new common reference period 2015=100.0 was set out for the full time series of all HICP indices and subindices for EU Member States, starting with the publication of the HICP for January 2016.

The Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICPs) give comparable measures of inflation among the EU Member States. They are economic indices that measure the change in the prices of consumer goods and services consumed by households. For this reason, prices are collected in 27 cities of the country, on a sample of enterprises for about 800 types of goods-services, which are classified into 12 main groups.

The compilation of the HICP is based on National Accounts data and on the data of the Household Budget Survey (HBS), following the Commission Regulation (EU) No 1114/2010 of December 2010, which is conducted by ELSTAT and aims to collect data on consumption patterns of the households in the country in the context of the above 'household basket', as well as on other available and relevant administrative data sources.

The geographical and population coverage of the HICP as defined by the Council Regulation (EC) No 1688/98 covers all economic territory of each Member State .There is no geographical separation for the data. The data are monthly data when collected and are presented as indices and rates of change.

The HICP is compiled on a monthly basis and it is released as follows:

  • Monthly rates of change,
  • Annual rates of change.
3.2. Classification system

The classification of products (goods and services) included in the HICP is based on the international classification COICOP (Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose), and more specifically, on the EU classification COICOP5/HICP, which was established to meet the needs of the Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) of EU Member States.

The structure of the classification has five levels:

  • Level 1: All items index – Overall index,
  • Level 2: 12 Divisions – 2-digit codes,
  • Level  3: 47 Groups – 3-digit codes,
  • Level 4: 117 Classes – 4-digit codes,
  • Level 5: 303 Sub-classes – 5-digit codes.

The new classification is fully matched with the previous followed classification COICOP/ HICP rev. Dec. 99 until the four-digit level.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The HICP covers prices of goods and services available in the economic territory, which are offered to households to satisfy their consumption needs. The index covers the consumption expenditures of households in the economic territory irrespective of the households being private or collective, or their being residents or non-residents.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The HICP is the comparable index of consumer prices produced in each EU Member State. It allows for international comparisons of inflation and its evolution, is one of the convergence criteria - stability of prices- as required by the Treaty of the EMU.

3.5. Statistical unit

The HICP refers to the 'final monetary consumption expenditure' covered only by private households in the country.

3.6. Statistical population

The population coverage of HICPs is laid down Council Regulation (EC) No 1688/98, which specifies that the HICP of each Member State should cover all final monetary consumption expenditure which takes place on the economic territory of the Member State. Therefore, the HICP population coverage of each Member State (and consequently that of the Greek HICP) includes: a) the expenditure of all private households (irrespective of the area in which they live -urban, semi-urban or rural or their position as regards income distribution), b) the expenditure non-residents (tourists) in the Country, and c) the expenditure of the members of collective living quarters, i.e. individuals living in institutions (boarding houses, homes for the elderly, hospitals, etc.)

On the contrary, the expenditure incurred for business (professional) purposes and the expenditure by residents whilst in a foreign country are excluded from the coverage of the HICP of a Member State (and consequently from the coverage of the Greek HICP).

3.7. Reference area

More specifically, prices are collected in 27 cities; the markets of these cities are considered to be representative centres of wider geographic areas. The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices refers to the whole country.

The sample of geographical regions covered by the HICP has been designed in order to cover representatevely all the Regions (NUTS 2) of the country in terms of price collection.

1 or 2 price collection cities are selected from each region, depending on the size and characteristics of the their markets and the required cost, with the exception of the region of Kentriki Makedonia, where three cities are selected.These cities by Region are shown, below:

 

Region (NTUTS2) 

Price collection cities

1.    Anatoliki Makedonia, Thraki

Kavala, Komotini

2.    Kentriki Makedonia

Thessaloniki, Serres, Edessa

3.    Dytiki Makedonia

Kozani, Grevena

4.    Ipeiros

Ioannina, Igoumenitsa

5.    Thessalia

Larisa, Volos

6.    Ionioi Nisoi

Kerkyra, Lefkada

7.    Dytiki Ellas

Patra, Mesolongi

8.    Sterea Ellas

Lamia, Amfissa

9.    Attiki

Greater Athens area

10.  Peloponnisos

Kalamata, Tripoli

11.  Nisoi Voreiou Aigaiou

Mytilini, Chios

12.  Nisoi Notiou Aigaiou

Rodos, Ermoupolis

13.  Κriti

Irakleio, Agios Nikolaos, Chania

3.8. Coverage - Time

From January 1996 onwards the time series data of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices, with base year 2015 = 100.0, are available on a monthly basis.

3.9. Base period

The base of the index is December of the previous year. The reference year of the index is 2015 (2015 = 100.0).


4. Unit of measure Top

Indices, rates of change (%).


5. Reference Period Top

The reference period is one month.


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

The legal framework concerning the organization and operation of ELSTAT is as follows:

-        Law 3832/2010 (Government Gazette No 38, Issue Α): "Hellenic Statistical System Establishment of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) as an Independent Authority", as amended and in force.

-        Regulation on the Operation and Administration of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), 2012, (Government Gazette No 2390, Issue B, 28-8-2012).

-        Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, on the European statistics (Official Journal of the European Union L 87/164).

-        Article 14 of the Law 3470/2006 (Government Gazette No 132, Issue A): “National Export Council, tax regulations and other provisions”.

-        Article 3, paragraph 1c, of the Law 3448/2006 (Government Gazette No 57, Issue A): “For the further use of information coming from the public sector and the settlement of matters falling within the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization”.

-        European Statistics Code of Practice, adopted by the Statistical Programme Committee on 24 February 2005 and promulgated in the Commission Recommendation of 25 May 2005 on the independence, integrity and accountability of the national and Community statistical Authorities, after its revision, which was adopted on 28 September 2011 by the European Statistical System Committee.

-        Presidential Decree 226/2000 (Government Gazette No 195, Issue Α): “Organization of the General Secretariat of the National Statistical Service of Greece”.

-        Articles 4, 12 , 13, 14, 15 and 16 of the Law 2392/1996 (Government Gazette No 60, Issue Α): "Access of the General Secretariat of the National Statistical Service of Greece to administrative sources and administrative files, Statistical Confidentiality Committee, settlement of matters concerning the conduct of censuses and statistical works, as well as of matters of the General Secretariat of the National Statistical Service of Greece".

The Legal Framework is detailed in the following link: http://www.statistics.gr/en/legal-framework

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

The HICP data are provided to the European Union (EU).


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

The issues concerning the observance of statistical confidentiality by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) are arranged by articles 7, 8 and 9 of the Law 3832/2010 as in force, by Articles 8, 10 and 11(2) of the Regulation on Statistical Obligations of the agencies of the Hellenic Statistical System and by Articles 10 and 15 of the Regulation on the Operation and Administration of ELSTAT.
More precisely:

ELSTAT disseminates the statistics in compliance with the statistical principles of the European Statistics Code of Practice and in particular with the principle of statistical confidentiality.

http://www.statistics.gr/en/statistical-confidentiality?inheritRedirect=true

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

ELSTAT protects and does not disseminate data it has obtained or it has access to, which enable the direct or indirect identification of the statistical units that have provided them by the disclosure of individual information directly received for statistical purposes or indirectly supplied from administrative or other sources. ELSTAT takes all appropriate preventive measures so as to render impossible the identification of individual statistical units by technical or other means that might reasonably be used by a third party. Statistical data that could potentially enable the identification of the statistical unit are disseminated by ELSTAT if and only if:

a) These data have been treated, as it is specifically set out in the Regulation on Statistical Obligations of the agencies of the Hellenic Statistical System (ELSS), in such a way that their dissemination does not prejudice statistical confidentiality or
b) The statistical unit has given its consent, without any reservations, for the disclosure of data.

The confidential data that are transmitted by ELSS agencies to ELSTAT are used exclusively for statistical purposes and the only persons who have the right to have access to these data are the personnel engaged in this task and appointed by an act of the President of ELSTAT.

ELSTAT may grant researchers conducting statistical analyses for scientific purposes access to data that enable the indirect identification of the statistical units concerned. The access is granted provided the following conditions are satisfied:
a) An appropriate request together with a detailed research proposal in conformity with current scientific standards have been submitted;
b) The research proposal indicates in sufficient detail the set of data to be accessed, the methods of analyzing them, and the time needed for the research;
c) A contract specifying the conditions for access, the obligations of the researchers, the measures for respecting the confidentiality of statistical data and the sanctions in case of breach of these obligations has been signed by the individual researcher, by his/her institution, or by the organization commissioning the research, as the case may be, and by ELSTAT.

Issues referring to the observance of statistical confidentiality are examined by the Statistical Confidentiality Committee (SCC) operating in ELSTAT.

The responsibilities of this Committee are to make recommendations to the President of ELSTAT on:

  • The level of detail at which statistical data can be disseminated, so as the identification, either directly or indirectly, of the surveyed statistical unit is not possible;
  • the anonymization criteria for the microdata provided to users;
  • the granting to researchers access to confidential data for scientific purposes.

The staff of ELSTAT, under any employment status, as well as the temporary survey workers who are employed for the collection of statistical data in statistical surveys conducted by ELSTAT, who acquire access by any means to confidential data, are bound by the principle of confidentiality and must use these data exclusively for the statistical purposes of ELSTAT. After the termination of their term of office, they are not allowed to use these data for any purpose.

Violation of data confidentiality and/or statistical confidentiality by any civil servant or employee of ELSTAT constitutes the disciplinary offence of violation of duty and may be punished with the penalty of final dismissal.

ELSTAT, by its decision, may impose a penalty amounting from ten thousand (10,000) up to two hundred thousand (200,000) Euros to anyone who violates the confidentiality of data and/or statistical confidentiality. The penalty is always imposed after the hearing of the defense of the person liable for the breach, depending on the gravity and the repercussions of the violation. Any relapse constitutes an aggravating factor for the assessment of the administrative sanction.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices is released on a monthly basis, through the corresponding Press Release, during the first 10 days after the end of the reference month (except from the index of January whose data are announced approximately on 20 February). The release dates are set out at the end of the previous calendar year and they figure in the Press Releases Calendar of ELSTAT (in Greek-English).

8.2. Release calendar access

The press releases calendar is disseminated to the media and it is available to users for free. The release calendar is also posted on the website of ELSTAT (www.statistics.gr/en/calendar), 'Press Releases' / 'Release Calendar' (Greek English).

8.3. Release policy - user access

In compliance with Community legislation and the European Statistics Code of Practice, ELSTAT disseminates national statistical data on its website, fully observing professional independence and with a view to ensuring the simultaneous, equal and timely access of all users to statistical data.

Data are released simultaneously to all interest parties and to all users through the press release on the HICP, which is released on the website of ELSTAT (www.statistics.gr), according to the release calendar and it can also be transmitted to users by fax or e-mail.

Neither users nor any government bodies have access to data before their official release.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices is produced and disseminated on a monthly basis.


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

The HICP data are published on a monthly basis through a scheduled press release, during the first 10 days after the end of each reference month. On the scheduled day of each month, according to the Announcement Calendar at 12:00 o’clock a press release is announced which presents the currently compiled indices in the Greek and English language. This press release is disseminated to the media and to other users, free of charge, through e-mail. The press release is also available on the website of ELSTAT.

www.statistics.gr/en/statistics/-/publication/DKT90/-

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices is included in the following publications:

  • The “Greece in figures” where annual average indices are published at the level of the general index and at the level of major groups.
  • The “Greek Economy” where monthly and annual index data and rate changes are published for the last four years at the level of the general index.
10.3. Dissemination format - online database

None.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Micro-data are made available to users after submitting a request to the:

Statistical Information and Publications Division

46, Pireos & Eponiton Str, PO Box 80847

18510 Piraeus

Tel: +30 213 135 2022

Fax: +30 213 135 2312

e-mail: data.dissem@statistics.gr

For confidential reasons, access to micro-data is granted to users only under strict conditions and by always adhering to the relevant procedure

http://www.statistics.gr/en/scientific_provision_data.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Users can be given data or other statistical analysis, through fax or e-mail, upon request, after submitting an application to the Economic and Short-Term Indicators Division - Retail Prices and Price Indices Section (G70) or to the Statistical Data Dissemination Section (B31).

The contact e-mail addresses are:

cpi@statistics.gr, m.glenis@statistics.gr, data.dissem@statistics.gr

mailto:data.dissem@statistics.gr, data.supply@statistics.gr, data.source@statistics.gr

Users can have access to ELSTAT publications, even for previous years, where they can find data on the HICP, which are posted on the digital library of ELSTAT, through:

http://dlib.statistics.gr/portal/page/portal/ESYE/

The results of the Harmonized Consumer Price Index are posted on the website of ELSTAT, at the link:

http://www.statistics.gr/en/statistics/-/publication/DKT90/-

Data are sent to Eurostat and published in Eurostat online database. 

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/hicp/data.

Users can submit their requests via website:

http://www.statistics.gr/en/provision-of-statistical-data.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The implementation of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices is based on the harmonized methodology developed by European statisticians, under the guidelines of EUROSTAT.

A methodological release containing detailed information on the sources and the related practices used, for the implementation of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, is available in the Greek and English language on the website of ELSTAT 

www.statistics.gr/en/statistics/-/publication/DKT90/-

There is also an information note about the updating works for the index that can be found under the same link.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

A concise Quality Report is available trough the following link: 

www.statistics.gr/en/statistics/-/publication/DKT90/-


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Quality checks and validation of data are carried out through the whole process of the compilation of the index, from the stage of data collection to the final calculation of the index.

  • Quality Policy and Quality Manual of ELSTAT are followed:

           http://www.statistics.gr/en/policies

  • For each product selected to be monitored, is fully and accurately defined on the basis of the characteristics which define it (range, weight, packaging, other quality attributes).
  • If certain items or product varieties cease to be representative or alter their determination characteristics, then new items or varieties replace the older ones.
  • The methods of quality adjustment followed are mainly three:

    a) The overlap method, used in cases where the old (to be replaced) product and new product have common price collection period,

    b) The bridged overlap method (connection with increase or decrease on index) and,

    c) Quantity adjustment, when the quantity of an item changes while its price remains the same.

  • Well-trained and experienced staff is utilized for all the stages of the compilation of the index, that is, for data collection (including communication with the enterprises), initial checks, data entry and final checks, which are conducted after the calculation of the index. This way, the personnel have a comprehensive and longitudinal image of the enterprises under their responsibilities.
  • Data are validated either before or after data entry by means of logical checks. During data processing data are checked in order to identify and correct any errors. When an error is identified, data are further investigated, in cooperation with the enterprises in order to confirm that it is an error or it is just an unusual price. At the same time, data are checked for completeness, accuracy and consistency of the correlating variables.
  • The indices are calculated by means of specialised software, through computation routines, thus eliminating any errors to the final results. Nevertheless, even during this stage, consistency checks are carried out to the final results, mainly by means of comparing the percentage changes of the sub-indices and their impact on the overall index.
11.2. Quality management - assessment

The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices is considered as a highly reliable index. It is compiled since 1995 in Greece, thus the staff has acquired a lot of experience and expertise in its compilation. The concepts, definitions and methodology of the HICP follow European and international standards and guidelines. The characteristic of the HICPs is that they must be produced according to several technical measures, as these are defined in the above EC Regulations. The main technical measures are the following:

  • Use of a common classification of items (COICOP/HICP).
  • Selection of the computation formula for the individual indices.
  • Geographic and population coverage of the whole country.
  • Renewal of weights of items annually.
  • Item coverage and production of specific sub-indices.
  • Minimum standards for price collection and sampling.
  • Adjustments due to quality differences of items.
  • Common treatment of tariffs of Public Utility Services.
  • Common reference year (2015=100,0) and retrospective compilation of indices from January 1996 onwards.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The HICP covers users’ needs for international comparisons of inflation.

The HICPs are the basis for compiling the European Index of Consumer Prices (EICP) and the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP), which provide the official Measures of inflation in the EU28 and the Eurozone, respectively.

The main domestic users of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices are the Government, public entities, the Central Bank of Greece, other banks, enterprises, universities, the Centre of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE), the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), while at international level Eurostat, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD), the United Nations (UN), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), etc..

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

User requirements are monitored on a regular basis by Retail Prices and Price Indices Section (G70) and the Statistical Data Dissemination Section (B31) of the Statistical Information and Publications Division, to their satisfaction. Generally, there is good cooperation and as immediate response  as possible to requests, with positive comments obtained from users.

At the same time, ELSTAT conducts a user satisfaction survey every six months the results of which are published in the 'Library’s Newsletter' a bilingual publication issued by the Library Section and the Statistical Data Dissemination Section, utilizing the user questionnaire. This publication presents half-yearly figures of the number of users in combination with some other variables, such as the degree of coverage of the requests, the type of the requested statistics, and the dissemination of statistical information. These characteristics are tabulated into absolute values and in percentages.

Finally, ELSTAT announced for the first time the results of User Satisfaction Survey (English) for the years 2011-2012. ELSTAT in an effort to explore the basic characteristics of the users of statistical information and record their needs, collects on a daily basis User Questionnaire in order to collect important information on its products and  services and thus contributing to their improvement. These statistical data are presented on an annual basis.

More information on the results of user satisfaction surveys is available at the following link on the portal ELSTAT :

http://www.statistics.gr/en/user-satisfaction-survey

12.3. Completeness

The compilation of the HICP and the information provided are fully inline with the relevant Regulations and EC Directives (Eurostat).


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy of HICP is generally considered to be high. Sampling errors are not calculated because for the sample selection of the price collection outlets (retail sale stores) the guided sampling is applied rather than random technique, so as to select a representative sample for all branches of outlets.

As regards non-sampling errors, these are mostly due to erroneous counting the efforts are mostly focused on identifying and correcting as many errors as possible during the revision of data.

13.2. Sampling error

Sampling errors are not calculated because of the sampling method used (guided sampling).

13.3. Non-sampling error

There are no errors, which have to do with inconsistent use of definitions or with data processing. For each product, selected to be monitored, its features are fully and accurately defined (range, weight, packaging, other quality attributes).

There are some measurements errors, such as errors in reported data by entreprises. These errors are usually easily identified through checks and crosschecks and corrected appropriately.

If certain items or varieties of products cease to be representative or their determination features change, then new items or varieties of products replace the older ones.


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The index is published within the first 10 days after the end of the reference month, except for the index of January, which is announced until the 20th of February.

14.2. Punctuality

The HICP is published according to a pre-announced schedule incorporated to the Press Releases Calendar of ELSTAT.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The compilation of the index follows the European regulations and the basic methodological principles of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). This ensures comparability with other national indices and the European statistics, taking always into consideration specific conditions in each country, which may require minor deviations from methodology.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The HICP time series data are fully comparable over time.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Certain checks and comparisons are carried out based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). The national CPI and the Greek HICP present several similarities, however, some differences still exist. The main differences between the two indices are the following:

  • The HICP reference year is 2015=100.0 and CPI 2009=100.0.
  • The HICP covers all consumption expenditure, which take place on the economic territory of Greece independently of the consumer (permanent and non permanent residents), while the national CPI covers only the consumption expenditure of private households which take place on the economic territory of the country and abroad.
  • The HICP weights of the items are calculated based on data of the National Accounts and HBS data and CPI calculated using HBS data.
15.4. Coherence - internal

The HICP is internaly coherent. Higher-level aggregations are derived from detailed indices according to well-defined procedures.


16. Cost and Burden Top

Not available.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

The Index follows ELSTAT's policy revisions:

http://www.statistics.gr/en/policies

The HICP data are revised in compliance with the provisions of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1921/2001. 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

The HICP is revised by applying the chain linking method so as the new weights are introduced annually and calculated on the basis of the latest available data from National Accounts and from the Household Budget Survey, which from 2008 onwards is conducted on an annual basis. As a result, every year has as base year December of the previous year.

The revision of the Index takes in to consideration the current international practice and the methodology on the compilation of the Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices in EU Member States, as laid down in the relevant Regulations of the Council and the European Commission.

The HICP adjusted, on an annual basis, to the latest consumption expenditure pattern of private households of the country, ensures the representativeness of goods and services, which compose the 'basket' of purchases of the average household.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Selection of goods and variety of goods

In practice, it is impossible to collect retail prices for all the varieties of goods and services purchased by the households. Therefore, it is deemed necessary to select a sample of goods and services, which are representative of all goods and services, as regards price changes.

From December 2013 onwards, the above-mentioned sample of goods and services is updated annually using the results of the latest available Household Budget Survey and other market research. The chain linking methodology allows the change of items of the household basket, on an annual basis, in order to ensure the representativeness of items which are to be included in the calculation of groups and sub-groups of the index.

For each sub-group the necessary number of items was selected in order to ensure the representativeness of the individual index of the sub-group. More specifically, all the items in a subgroup were broken down into small categories of similar items and then for each category one or more items were selected, whose price changes reflect the price changes of all similar items in the category.

The representativeness criterion for the varieties of the items, according to which they were selected, is based on the most sold variety in terms of volume rather than in value.

Another selection criterion for the varieties of the items was the possibility to observe their price changes in the course of time, as well as their price, which should be affordable by the average consumer.

The total number of consumer goods and services of the HICP comes to 800 and they are further broken down into a greater number of varieties.

Specification

All the items, for which prices are collected, are defined by their specification, namely the particular characteristics which determine the quality, appearance and general commercial identity of the goods (such as brand, variety, weight, packaging, etc.) in order to avoid any price changes, which are due to differences in the specification. The detailed specification of an item is not uniform throughout the Country and may differ not only from one price collection city to another, but also from one store of the city to another, since it is determined on the basis of the economic conditions and the local consumer habits.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Data collection is mainly carried out on a monthly basis.

18.3. Data collection

Price Collection

The process and means of collecting price data for goods and services is a key factor for depicting correctly the evolution of prices through the index.

The collected prices correspond to the prices actually faced by the consumer and refer to sales "in cash".

The frequency of price collection depends on the nature of goods and services. For the majority of items, the prices are collected once a month and these items are called items for monthly price collection. The prices of fresh products (vegetables, fruits and fishes) are collected more frequently, namely once a week on a fixed day (Tuesday or Thursday) because the prices of this group of goods are affected by external factors (weather conditions). The above-mentioned items (fresh products) are the items for weekly price collection of the HICP.

For the items whose prices are fixed administratively (public utility tariffs, tickets of public transports, postal services) and for some other items (tuition fees, insurance premiums) the prices are collected once a year (items for yearly price collection). For these items the prices are collected right after the new prices and tariffs are released and put into force. In case the prices of these items change and are readjusted within the same year, their prices are collected again.

For the items whose prices are collected on a monthly basis, price collection takes place, in general, approximately in the middle of the month. Yet, for some of these items namely for items in the supermarkets of the Greater Athens Area, prices are collected on a monthly cycle-basis, thus reflecting the evolution of prices during the whole month. (i.e. 1st group of stores in the 1st week of the month, 2nd group of stores in the 2nd week, etc).

There are some items whose prices are the same all over the country. The prices of these items are collected by the central office of ELSTAT and they are broken down into two categories:

a)      Items whose prices are the same throughout the country and are determined by the forces of supply and demand (cigarettes, motor vehicles, newspapers and magazines, insurance premium, banking services, etc). Their prices are collected on a monthly or yearly basis,

b)      Items whose prices are the same throughout the country and are set by the government (electricity, motor vehicle registration fees, road tolls, medicines, postal services). Their prices are collected on a yearly basis.

It should be noted that the prices for almost all the items of the Harmonised Price Index are collected by means of an established procedure according to which experienced employees of ELSTAT pay visits to the price collection outlets during a specific period of the month (monthly price collection items) or on a specific day of the week (weekly price collection items) and record the prices on a specially designed price collection form. For some items (tuition fees for private schools, insurance premiums for motor vehicles, and motorcycles, etc) the prices are collected via fax or e-mail, that is to say the surveyed outlets after filling in the specially designed questionnaires submit them by fax or e-mail. In addition to all these, during the last years, the prices of some items are collected though the internet (natural gas and mobile telephony tariffs, road tolls, air and boat tickets, etc).

To ensure the reliability of the collected data concerning the prices, the data undergo a series of correctness checks both during their collection and their processing.

The total number of the prices collected for all the items of the Index by month is 49460 and their breakdown into the 12 major groups of items figures in the table below:

 

Main groups of items

 

 No of observations per month

1. Food and non-Alcoholic Beverages

16,802

2. Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco

    860

3. Clothing and Footwear

5,835

4. Housing

2,374

5-Housing Equipment

7,254

6. Health

2,152

7. Transport

2,033

8. Communication

   301

9. Recreation and Culture

4,664

10 Education

   257

11. Hotels, Cafes and Restaurants

2,669

12. Miscellaneous Goods and Services

4,241

Total Consumer Price Index

49,460

Price collection outlets

The prices collection outlets are retail stores and services enterprises, which sell particular species and varieties of species that are consumed by the majority of households in the area.

The selected outlets are representative of the branches of stores in the 27 selected price collection cities where the households make their purchases.

The representativeness criteria for the selection of the outlets are the volume of sales, their geographic location and the availability of items, for which prices are collected, on a continuous basis. The biggest urban centers of Greece, Greater Athens area and Thessaloniki, are divided into zones depending on the income of their inhabitants. Therefore, the price collection outlets in these cities are selected on the basis of the criterion according to which the consumers from all income levels are represented.

Neither small stores selling poor quality products nor luxury stores selling products at exceptionally high prices are included in the sample of the outlets. Furthermore, prices are not collected for items sold on street-carts but on the contrary, price collection includes open-air markets but only for fresh fruit and vegetables.

The chain linking methodology allows the annual renewal of collection price outlets and their number, in order to maintain their representativeness on the calculation of HICP. At each updating of the index, the existing sample price collection outlets are kept those still representatives and are replaced those not fulfilling their necessary selection requirements. Apart from the replacement of non-representative price collection, the sample price collection extends to overcome the price collection of new items.

The sample size of outlets, in each price collection city, depends on the market size (population) of each area.

Depending on the items, the outlets are distinguished in department stores, specialized stores, supermarkets, open-air markets and services enterprises. For those items whose prices are collected by the central office (electricity, tickets of public transport, etc). The necessary data are collected from the competent corporations, organizations and agencies.

18.4. Data validation

Data is validated through regular and logical checks. During data processing any errors are identified and are dully corrected. Special emphasis is placed on the errors that may have major impact on the results. After identifying the errors, those are further checked and cross-checked in cooperation with the enterprises in order to confirm that it is an error or it is just about an unusual price. At the same time, data are checked for completeness, accuracy and consistency of the correlating variables. Data processing and validation of data are carried out either during or after data entry.

The data are compared with data from previous months and with data of the corresponding month of previous years and in case of large deviations, a more thorough investigation is necessary.

18.5. Data compilation

Weights of items

The expenditures used for the calculation of the weights of items entered into the computation of HICP include the expenditures of private households, the expenditures of foreign visitors and the expenditures of individuals living in institutions, while the expenditures of residents whilst in a foreign country are excluded. The item weights are price updated, every January to the previous December prices. The sources of the expenditure data used for the calculation of the weights of HICP items are National Accounts and the Household Budget Survey (HBS).

The renewal of weights, which is necessary to ensure their reliability, is governed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1114/2010, as regards minimum standards for the quality of HICP weightings.

The following table presents the weights of items of the Greek HICP –expressed in (‰)-, as these apply, from January 2017, for the 12 main groups of items (two-digit level of ECOICOP/HICP).

 

Main groups of items of the ECOICOP/HICP classification

Weights 2016

1.   Food and non-Alcoholic Beverages

195.88

2.   Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco

51.13

3.   Clothing and footwear

43.83

4.   Housing

95.59

5.   Household Equipment

36.88

6.   Health

51.58

7.  Transport

163.77

8.   Communication

52.46

9.   Recreation and Culture

39.56

10. Education

24.51

11. Hotels, Cafés and Restaurants

178.15

12. Miscellaneous Goods and Services

66.65

 Total Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

1000.0

Population weights

For the calculation of population weights, the new population data as derived from the 2011 census and the results of the 2015 Household Budget Survey (HBS) were taken into account.

On the basis of the results of the HBS, i.e. the average monthly expenditure by expenditure category and per household in each of the 13 regions of the country and the number of households by region, as determined as an average by the HBS for the year 2015, the annual expenditure for the total number of the households by region was calculated, i.e., extrapolating the HBS results, on an annual basis, for the total number of the households in every region.

In a later stage, the number of households of each region was allocated in the price collection cities on the basis of the number of households of each city. The percentage distribution of population of the region on the price collection cities was implemented on the expenditure that was calculated for every expenditure category of COICOP12 at the level of the region, on the basis of the HBS results. The weighting coefficient of each city, by expenditure category, is calculated as the expenditure in each city to the total expenditure for this category in the country.

In general, the population weights are used for the weighting of the individual indices (sub-indices) of the items for each price collection city, in order to calculate these sub-indices for the whole country.

For the weighting of the sub-indices of some items of the Index (e.g. urban transports), where accurate data on the local consumption value are available, these data are used instead of the above-mentioned population weights.

Missing prices

The treatment of missing prices depends on the category of items, for which prices are collected.

For seasonal items (fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, clothing and footwear, etc.) the standardized method for dealing with the seasonality of these items is applied.

The treatment of missing prices for the other items depends on the duration of the item’s absence from the outlet. If the item is absent for a period up to 2 months, then the price, which will be recorded, is the latest regular price observed. If the item is absent for more than 2 months, then the item is replaced, according to the procedure described below "substitution of items".

Substitution of items

When a specified item (variety) is no longer available in the market or it is no longer important, in terms of consumption, because of a new variety, then it is substituted by the item, which has taken its place in the market.

The criterion for this substitution depends on the most sold variety in terms of volume rather than in value for the specific item in the surveyed outlet.

If the substitute item y, can be compared with the item x, which is replaced, then an effort is made to estimate whether the difference in the prices is due to differences in quality, weight, packaging, etc. and to adjust the price accordingly, so that the item matches the quality of the replaced item. However, if the substitute item cannot be compared with the item, which is replaced, then the prices of the two items are linked, and a theoretical base price is calculated for the substitute item.

In particular, the prices for the current month, t, and for the previous month, t-1, are collected for the substitute item y, and its theoretical base price , is calculated according to the following formula:

where:

      =the price of the substitute item y, during the previous month and

      =the sub-index of the item x, during the previous month.

Furthermore, when a packed good, for which prices are collected, is offered in the market during a significant time period in larger or smaller quantities than usually but at the same price, then the price is adjusted on the basis of the offered quantity (quantity adjustment).

Calculation of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

The HICP is a Laspeyres-type index and it is calculated having as base December of the previous year.

Calculation formula on 5-digit level of COICOP

Specifically, if the 5-digit item h included q price collected items, then its index in month t of year T, , is given by the formula below:

where:

 

                 =the individual index of the item h in December of year Τ-1,

                   =the weighting coefficient of the price collected item i, in year Τ,

                   =the individual index of the price collected item i, in month t of year Τ,

                =the individual index of the price collected item i, in December of year Τ-1.

 

A similar methodology is followed for the calculation of individual indices in the upper levels (two-digit, three-digit and four-digit) of COICOP5 and the calculation of the overall HICP index as well.

The sub-indices  are calculated as follows:

-        Firstly, the sub-index of a specific item i (where i=1,2,….k) for each city y (where y=1,2,….m) is compiled, from all its outlets j (where j=1,2,…n), by using the geometric mean of all prices collected from the outlets of the city, for the specific item, according to the following the formula :

= the sub-index of the item i, for the city y, in the month t.  

= the price of item i in the outlet j of the price collection city y, in the month t,

= the price of item i in the outlet j of the price collection city y, in the base period 0.

 - Then, the sub-index of the item i, , for the whole country, is calculated as a weighted mean of the sub-indices of this item, for all cities, according to the following the formula:

where

 =the population weight of city y.

Seasonality of items

a. Fresh fruit and vegetables

The seasonality of fresh fruit and vegetables is addressed by using the method of “Class-confined seasonal weights”, which fully meets the requirements of the latest Council Regulation No 330/2009 on the treatment of seasonal products in the Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP).

This method allows for zero weights for the products which are out-of-season and which remain out of the “basket” (no price data are needed). The prices of the in-season products (which are in the “basket”) are collected and their weights are based on the respective expenditure for these items as these derive from the results of the latest HBS.

b. Clothing and footwear

For dealing with the seasonality of clothing and footwear is addressed by using the method of “class-confined seasonal weights”, which fully meets the requirements of the latest Council Regulation No 330/2009 on the treatment of seasonal products in the Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP).

This method allows for zero weights for the products which are out-of- season and which remain out of the “basket” (no price data are needed). The prices of the in-season products (which are in the “basket”) are collected and their weights are based on the respective expenditure for these items during the months when these products are available in the market.

The items of clothing and footwear of the HICP, depending on the time of the year when they are offered the same in the market, are divided into three groups:

        i.           Clothing and footwear items available only in winter (winter items),

        ii.          Clothing and footwear items available only in summer (summer items),

        iii.         Clothing and footwear items available during all of the year (all-seasons items).

The items of the group (i) and (ii) are considered seasonal items.

Prices for the aforementioned seasonal items are collected during:

October-April: winter items

May-September: summer items

Offers and discounts

The reductions in the prices of individual products and services are taken into account for the compilation of the HICP only in the following cases:

a)      The reductions are offered to all potential buyers, without discrimination

b)      The buyer is aware of these reductions the moment he is making his purchases

c)      The reductions can be applied at the moment of the purchase

Therefore, reductions due to special offers or sales, which are offered only to specific consumer groups (e.g. pensioners, cooperative’s members, etc), are not taken into account for the compilation of the HICP. Accordingly, special offers, such as offering another product as a gift, or special offers on goods close to the expiry date or due to damage are not taken into account for the compilation of the HICP.

In addition, for the compilation of the HICP special offers available only in some stores (by means of bonus cards or coupons) are not taken into account because these offers are considered to be discriminatory.

On the contrary, the reduced prices of general offers and discounts are taken into account during the price collection of the HICP. In Greece the general winter and summer sales are established by law as follows:

  • Ten days winter discount: 10 first days of November,
  • Winter sales: mid January- end February,
  • Ten days summer discount: 10 first days of May,
  • Summer sales: mid July-end August.

After the end of the sales period, the prices come again to their normal level before the sales, therefore not affecting the Index over a 12-month period.

Public Utility Corporations tariffs

The readjustment in the tariffs of public utility corporations (DEH - Electric Power Corporation, EYDAP - Water supply corporation for Athens, etc) are treated by calculating the mean weighted changes in the relevant tariffs, recorded for the total of the household of the country and on the basis of the data provided by the public utility corporations. These data are provided by the corporations in the framework of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2646/98 "as regards minimum standards for the treatment of tariffs in the compilation of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices”.

For fixed and mobile telephony companies the calculation of the sub-index of services provided by company (service provider) is calculated on the basis of the mean weighed change in the prices of the services provided (per company). The weights used are the revenues of each company for the services provided to private households during the base year (2009). For the calculation of the sub-indices of fixed and mobile telephony, the corresponding sub-indices per company are weighted on the basis of the total revenues of these companies, which come from the provision of telephone services to private households during the base year.

18.6. Adjustment

The methods of quality adjustment which are followed are mainly, three: a) the overlap method used in cases where the old (to be replaced) product and the new product have common price collection period, b) the bridged overlap method (connection with increase or decrease on index) and c) quantity adjustment, (when the quantity of an item changes though its price remains the same).

Therefore, when a good is sold in a higher or lower quantity than usual, with the same price, then the value is adjusted on the basis of the offered quantity (quantitative adjustment).


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