Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: National Statistical Institute of France

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: FR1

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

National Statistical Institute of France

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Not available.

1.5. Contact mail address

18, bd Adolphe Pinard 75675 Paris cedex 14 FRANCE

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 24/05/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 24/05/2017
2.3. Metadata last update 24/05/2017

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 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 (CPI) calculated according to a harmonised approach and a single set of definitions.

3.2. Classification system

ECOICOP/HICP (European Classification of Individual Consumption according to Purpose).

3.3. Coverage - sector

HICP covers household final monetary consumption expenditure.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The HICP has been designed to be a measure of pure price change for goods and services falling within the scope of Household Final Monetary Consumption Expenditure (HFMCE) on the economic territory.

It measures the changing cost of purchasing a fixed basket of products at different sets of prices over time.

Prices used in the HICP are the purchaser prices, which are the prices actually paid by households.

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). HICPs comprise all purchases by households within the territory of a country; those by both resident and non-resident households (i.e. 'domestic concept').

HICPs cover the prices paid for goods and services in monetary transactions. The prices measured are those actually faced by consumers. The HICPs exclude interest and credit charges, regarding them as financing costs rather than consumption expenditure.

3.7. Reference area

The price observations are carried out in a random sample of urban units that are representative of urban units with more than 2,000 inhabitants throughout the country (except Mayotte). The department of Mayotte has been a European territory since 1 January 2014; an integration project is in progress. However, the proportion of the consumption expenditure of Mayotte households amounts to less than 0.1% (0.07%) of French household consumption.

3.8. Coverage - Time

HICPs for France are available from 1995.

3.9. Base period

Since January 2016, the reference base year for HICP index has been the year 2015=100.

The previous bases of the HICP were 1996 and 2005.

4. Unit of measure Top

Prices are recorded to the cent.

The relative variation in consumer prices is calculated on the basis of indices rounded up to 2 decimal places. These variations are published as a percentage to one decimal place.

5. Reference Period Top

The price collection is carried out on a monthly period.

The surveys are staggered uniformly over four weeks. Over a one-week period, the surveys are staggered from Monday to Friday.

The prices of goods are recorded in the month during which they are observed; the prices of services are recorded in the month during which the consumption of the service may begin.

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

Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) are harmonised inflation figures required under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Regulation (EC) No 2016/792 of 11 May 2016 (OJ L135/11) sets the legal basis for establishing a harmonised methodology for the compilation of the HICPs.

All relevant regulations as well as further methodological details can be found in the HICP section on Eurostat's website under Methodology => Legislation.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not available.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 11 March 2009, on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The files are rendered totally anonymous insofar as they do not allow for the identification of the retail outlets, the urban units in which the price collections are carried out or the details of the consumption segments included in the calculation of the price index. The published aggregated data do not allow for this identification.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

In addition to the European schedule, French HICP are released according to a national schedule. This publication schedule, drawn up internally and taking account of the constraints imposed by the European regulations, is defined in advance for the year. The publication date for the data is announced in a four-month schedule for which INSEE is responsible.

After the embargo has been lifted, all series of the index can be found in the BdM – Macro-economic Database on the INSEE website.

8.2. Release calendar access

The national calendar is available on the Insee website https://www.insee.fr.

Eurostat's calendar.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In addition to Eurostat release, each month, the dissemination of the HICP and of the national CPI is performed on the https://www.insee.fr website in the form of a publication in the collection of  'informations rapides', this publication is translated into English. The broadcast schedule is under embargo, it is set at 8:45.

After the embargo has been lifted, all series of the index can be found in the BdM – Macro-economic Database on the INSEE website

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

The French Consumer Price Index (CPI) and HICP are published twice in a given month.

A provisional estimate is published at the end of the month and the definitive index is published on or around the 15th of the following month.

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

In addition to Eurostat dissemination, a national publication schedule is disseminated to journalists at the end of each month (on the 25th) by the INSEE Press Office and published online (on the 31st) at www.insee.fr

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

In addition to Eurostat dissemination, national publication takes place in the 'Informations Rapides' on the CPI which give the main results with comments. 'Informations Rapides' on the CPI and HICP can be printed out.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

In addition to Eurostat dissemination, the results at a more detailed level are stored in a national database, called the macro economic database (BDM).

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not available.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not available.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The general and methodological documentation can be found on the Insee.fr website.

All of the available documentation can be downloaded. This documentation is drafted in French and three documents have been translated into English: Consumer Price Index (CPI); Changes to the CPI from 29 January 2016; Monthly price indices of frequently purchased goods in large and predominantly food stores.

CPI: https://www.insee.fr/en/metadonnees/source/s1144

HICP: https://www.insee.fr/en/metadonnees/source/s1144

10.7. Quality management - documentation

See Eurostat's Compliance Monitoring Report of 2015.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Quality controls are carried out at each stage in the creation of the index, the definition of the sample, and the recording of prices by the collector.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

European control: INSEE responds to requests submitted by Eurostat on a regular basis.

The conformity of the HICP to the HICP legislation and other European recommendations was last assessed by Eurostat in 2013.

Control by the Quality Label Committee

At the level of French official statistics, the CPI is submitted to the Official Statistics Quality Label Committee. This committee consists of a President, a rapporteur and three commissions empowered to issue a recommendation on the application submitted.

Their role is to analyse the procedure used to create the index (in particular, the method, sampling and sample design, the collection protocol, quality controls, etc.) and the adaptation of the publication to the stated objectives.

After examining the application (Commission of 18 June 2014), the Official Statistics Quality Label Committee attributed the label of public interest and statistical quality to the price index production procedure, with binding force for five years.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

CPI and HICP data are used for national, European and international (IMF, OECD) purposes. National and European institutions (Government, Bank of France, European Central Bank) use them for analysis in the short and long term as well as for economic and political decision-making. CPI are often used in order to chain-link different contracts and minimum wages.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available.

12.3. Completeness

All COICOP indices at 5-digit level are produced.

The scope of the HICP is household final monetary consumption expenditure that occurs, throughout the whole of France excluding Mayotte.

The national weights of the COICOP items are determined according to the data derived from the National Accounts.

For items representing a very low level of consumption (below 1/1000 of the consumption of the HICP), no prices are recorded. Only the sub-categories (financial consulting and brokering), (education not definable by level) and (rentals actually paid for secondary residences) are not monitored.

The sample is updated annually to take account of changes in consumption behaviours and, in particular, to introduce new goods or services. The revisions concern the list and the content of varieties in addition to the breakdown according to forms of sale and per urban unit.

All COICOP/HICP sub-indiceswhose weights represent for more than one thousandth of the total expenditure covered by the HICP (except for the sub-categories mentioned above) are transmitted to Eurostat on a monthly basis.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The HICP is calculated every month on the basis of approximately 1,100 consumption segments.

13.2. Sampling error

Not available.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not available.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Since 2016, in addition to the final indices published the 15th of the month M + 1, the provisional indices CPI and HICP are published on the site of Insee no later than the last day of the month.

14.2. Punctuality

The transmission schedule of the indices is respected (estimates and final).

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The HICP is calculated for throughout the whole of France, excluding Mayotte. We don’t calculate any regional HICPs. The HICP conforms to the EU regulations. This guarantees comparability with the other European countries as regards coverage, methodology and quality assurance.

15.2. Comparability - over time

HICP data are fully 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 performed when appropriate basic data was available.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The CPI and HICP classification is consistent with the 5-digit COICOP classification.

15.4. Coherence - internal

There are differences in the scope of products covered between the national CPI and the HICP.

The differences in coverage originate from the notion of consumption. The household consumption adopted for the CPI is the actual final consumption by households of market products. Final household monetary consumption expenditure is the concept used for the HICP.

Consequently, in contrast to the HICP, the CPI does not monitor non-market services because they do not have market prices. The HICP, on the other hand, can monitor the price of partial payments by households for these non-market services. That is why the HICP covers non-market education (university enrolment fees). It also monitors non-market health (daily charge payable by households).

Finally, the CPI monitors games of chance which are currently excluded from the scope of the HICP.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Not available.

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.

17.2. Data revision - practice

In 2016, a modification of the harmonised index of consumer prices from January to May was carried out in order to correct an error concerning fresh products.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The prices of about 1,100  consumer goods and services on average per month are surveyed in about 30,000 outlets (including oversea territories).

Number of representative items at the lowest classification level (reference year  2015)

All-items: 1,138

01 Food and non-alcoholic beverages 357

02 Alcoholic beverages, tobacco 39

03 Clothing and footwear 151

04 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 35

05 Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 146

06 Health 7

07 Transport 76

08 Communication 10

09 Recreation and culture 167

10 Education 3

11 Restaurants and hotels 49

12 Miscellaneous goods and services 98

NB: Some representative items shown singly here cover large areas and use sub-samples (for example: international air fares are one consumption segment but use a sample of several hundred air links and tariff types).

18.2. Frequency of data collection

The collection is carried out throughout all four weeks of a given month. Although the prices of certain institutional products traditionally only change once a year, tracking is carried out throughout the year (waste collection; education).

However, there is one exception to these monthly price surveys: rents. The Rent Index is calculated on a monthly basis based on the results of household surveys, in particular the quarterly 'Rent and charges' survey for rents in the 'free' sector. As these surveys are quarterly, forecasts need to be integrated for intercalary months.

18.3. Data collection

Outlet selection

About 30 000 outlets in the country are chosen for the survey to get closer to actual consumption. The sample of outlets is updated once a year, in December. During the year when a store closes, it is replaced by a store of the same type in the same geographical area. The sample by type of store is therefore fixed during the year.

If an old outlet is still representative it will continue to be in the sample the following year. Internet shopping is included.

Techniques of product selection and specification

The price collectors make the actual selection of product-offers in the outlets. The product-offer is centrally defined by a number of characteristics entered on a price collection form, to which price collectors can add further details. There are two criteria guiding the choices within outlets: 'bien vendu' (selling well) and 'bien suivi' (steady demand). The variety of the product is not fully specified (no brand or model), further selection is made by the price collector in the outlet. The strategy also involves the division into homogeneous (29% of the total weight) and heterogeneous items (varieties) (36%) and 'tariffs' (35%, products centrally collected). Among which 2% of the weight comes from overseas departments. 

18.4. Data validation

Data are validated at different level of the statistical process: collection of the data, sample design, methodology.

18.5. Data compilation


The national weights of the COICOP items are determined on the basis of the semi-definitive annual data derived from the National Accounts for the year Y-2. These amounts are known per product according to the classification derived from NACE (400 groups of products). Then, in compliance with the Eurostat regulations and as in base 1998, the National Accounting data are aged by the change in prices measured by the CPI in Y-1 and by volume indices when they are available.

Computation of the lowest level indices

The HICP is an annually chained Laspeyres-type index which allows the weights to be changed on an annual basis. It brings together approximately 30,000 elementary indices – an elementary index generally represents the cross-referencing of one consumption segment and one urban unit.

The ratio of geometric means is used for computing the price indices for heterogeneous elementary aggregates and ratio of arithmetic means is used for computing the price indices for homogeneous elementary aggregates.
Treatment of missing items and replacements

Missing observations: The prices of these non-observations are estimated by applying the average change for products belonging to the same variety and to the same geographical. If there are insufficient estimations, then the geographical zone is extended to a national level.

Replacements: The main rule is that: if a product is permanently missing, it shall be replaced either in the same retail outlet or in another retail outlet of an equivalent surface area and status. The replacement product must be neither on sale nor on special offer. The investigator shall endeavour to find a product of the same type of brand with similar technical specifications; at all events, it must be a well tracked and commonly sold article.

Introduction of newly significant goods and services

The sample is reviewed on an annual basis.
Treatment of seasonal items

Seasonality is processed in two different ways:

  • Partially seasonal varieties: these products are available on the market throughout the year but they may disappear from certain retail outlets for extended periods. These products are surveyed normally. Products that are out of season at the time of the observation are assigned a price equal to the last normal price, modified by the average change in prices observed for other products of the same variety.
  • Totally seasonal varieties: these products or services are wholly unavailable for a period of the year. All products will have an estimated price based on the last normal prices observed, to which the change in prices observed for another similar variety, or for a higher level of classification (item or higher), will be applied.
18.6. Adjustment

Adjustment for quality differences

Quality adjustments are carried out primarily in the framework of the replacement of products.

For field recordings, several methods are used:

  • If the replacement product is considered to be a perfect substitute for the replaced product, then the replacement product will have the same base price as the old product. There is no 'quality effect' and the entire price difference is likened to a 'pure' price variation (direct price comparison method).
  • If the replacement product is not considered to be a perfect substitute, then its base price is estimated according to the base price of the replaced product monitored in month m-1 and the change in prices between m-1 and m of products belonging to the same variety as the replaced product for which observations are available (bridged overlap method).
  • A base price can also be estimated by hedonic models using the specifications of the replacement and the replaced product. This method requires a sufficient number of products in order to estimate the effects of each technical specification that contributes to the model. It is used particularity for several durable goods.
  • The Option pricing model has been adopted for replacements relating to new motor vehicles.

19. Comment Top


Related metadata Top

Annexes Top