Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO)

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: HU1

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

Download


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO)

1.2. Contact organisation unit

National Accounts Department - Consumer Prices Section

1.5. Contact mail address

Keleti Károly Str. 5-7/1024 Budapest/HUNGARY


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

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.

Detailed informations are available in the HICP reference metadata.

3.2. Classification system

The Hungarian HICP 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

In October 2016, Eurostat started publishing ECOICOP 5-digit level indices. Until then only the 4-digit level was available. Hungarian data for ECOICOP 5 digit level are available in Eurostat's database from December 2014.

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:

HICP

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

  • Indices
  • Annual rates of change
  • Monthly rates of change
  • 12-month average rate of change

Annual data

  • Average index and rate of change
  • Country weights
  • Item weights

HICP-CT

Monthly data (2015=100)

  • Indices
  • Annual rates of change
  • Monthly rate of change
3.5. Statistical unit

Each published index or rate of change refers to the 'final monetary consumption expenditure' of the whole household sector of Hungary.

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 Hungary; those by both resident and non-resident households (i.e. 'domestic concept').

3.7. Reference area

Hungarian HICPs cover the entire country.
All the 19 counties (7 regions) are covered, including the capital city. The localities are selected by the local offices with regard to the number of inhabitants in each region (number of selected localities are approx. 103). Budapest and the 18 county capitals are included. The other localities are mainly cities and towns.

3.8. Coverage - Time

HICP for Hungary are available from 2001 (earlier figures are estimated based on the national CPI).

HICP-CT are available from December 2005.

3.9. Base period

According to Commission Regulation 2015/2010, starting with the release of January 2016 data, HICP and HICP-CT data are produced and published using the common index reference period (2015=100).

The index reference period was 1996 = 100 until December 2005. From January 2006 to December 2016 it was 2005=100. The series with past reference periods (2005=100 and 1996=100) are included in Eurostat's database.


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.

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

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

None.


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.

The HCSO has an own confidentiality policy which is available on the HCSO’s website.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

All statistics collected and published by the HCSO are governed by the confidentiality provisions of the Law on Statistics of Hungary which specify that the HCSO cannot publish, or otherwise make available to any individual or organization, statistics that would enable the identification of data for any individual person or entity. There are two exceptions:

  • Individual data on the activities of institutions, social organizations and state budget institutions performing activities of public interest may be made public without prior written consent of the data supplier if the respective data relates to the activities of public interest;
  • Individual data without written consent of the data supplier may be transferred for statistical purposes only, to an international organization engaged in statistical activity, and in order to meet an international commitment, defined by rule of law.

The data are compiled under the terms of the Act CLV of 2016 On Statistics and the Act CXII of 2011 on the Right of Informational Self-Determination and on Freedom of Information.

The English version of the text of Act CXII of 2011 is available on the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information’s website.

The Hungarian National Assembly made the Act CLV of 2016 in order to ensure the HCSO’s independence and professionalism, and further strengthening of the confidence in official statistics. At the moment only available in Hungarian language.

The HCSO has an own confidentiality policy which is available on the HCSO’s website.

The HCSO has an own dissemination policy which is available on the HCSO’s website.

The HCSO has an own revision policy which is available on the HCSO’s website.

The HCSO has an own quality policy which is available on the HCSO’s website.

The HCSO has an own strategy which is available on the HCSO’s website.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

In case of the Hungarian data, a release calendar that gives one-year-ahead notice of the release dates' of first releases (leading indicators), is disseminated on HCSO Internet website (dissemination calendar).

In case of Eurostat' press releases (harmonized indices), the release schedule is publically available and published each year around mid-November by Eurostat for the full following year.

8.2. Release calendar access

HCSO's website.

EUROSTAT ’s website.

8.3. Release policy - user access

The data are released simultaneously to all interested parties by issuing the press release (First Release - Consumer Prices) to the media at 9:00 am on the day of release.
The first release is also available on the HCSO website at 9:00 am (local time) on the day of release.

The first release of HCSO got renewed from March 2015. The brief analyses on the development of key processes and the related tables are published in a user friendly way, in HTML format. The detailed data are subsequently posted on the HCSO website in the database (under 'DATA').
HCSO ensures preliminary access to first releases (on the afternoon before the day on which they are published) which are required by the organization in the narrowest possible personal circle for the following public decision-making bodies:

• Prime Minister’s Office,

• Ministry for National Economy,

• Ministry of National Development, as well as

• Central Bank of Hungary.

In order to assist ministers and the leader of the Central Bank of Hungary, HCSO forwards the first releases which are required by the organization to the mailboxes of the persons given by the organization on the day prior to publication at 5 p. m. – in line with the closing of the continuous phase of trading in the Budapest Stock Exchange. According to the rules of the embargo, data cannot be disclosed before the official publication. The leaders of the institutions for whom HCSO ensured prior access within an appropriate framework are responsible for respecting the embargo and maintaining the confidentiality of data.

The HCSO disseminates unpublished but non-confidential data on different requests.
The users may contact the Information Service of the HCSO via internet, phone, fax, e-mail.

The HCSO has an own dissemination policy which is available on the HCSO’s website.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Harmonised consumer price indices are released monthly, following the reference month.


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

The first release is available online, on the HCSO's website at 9:00 am on the day of release in html format.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

HCSO publishes monthly and annual HICP data in the First Release:

http://www.ksh.hu/consumer_prices_tn?lang=en

HICPs are published on the 8th of the following month, except in January and February, when they are published later mainly due to the calculation of the annual data and weights.
HCSO publish HICPs from 2002 for the 12 main divisions, as annual data where previous year=100, in Data tables ’STADAT’ on the HCSO’s website:

http://portal.ksh.hu/pls/ksh/docs/eng/xstadat/xstadat_annual/i_qsf002.html

Annual analysis are available only on hungarian language.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

HCSO's website - Data/Tables (STADAT) - Time series of annual data - 3.6 Prices:

http://portal.ksh.hu/pls/ksh/docs/eng/xstadat/xstadat_annual/i_qsf002.html

EUROSTAT’s website: HICP database.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

With reference to the hungarian HICP the HCSO does not publish any micro-data.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Within other publication: Statistical Yearbook of Hungary.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

'Methodological Notes' are included in each publication on the HCSO website.
'Metainformations' about HICP are available on the HCSO's website.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Given the importance accorded to the accuracy and comparability of the HICPs, Eurostat operates a system of compliance monitoring to ensure that the legal framework is adhered to. This includes compliance assessments on the basis of questionnaires and visits by Eurostat officials to the national statistical institutes to study the work on HICP in more detail. Eurostat must ensure that the statistical practices used to compile HICPs are in compliance with HICP methodological requirements, and good practices in the field of consumer price indices are being followed. Compliance monitoring is crucial in promoting confidence in HICP data and Eurostat needs to be assured that Member States are complying with the Regulations in order to support the need for high quality HICP Statistics. Recommendations are published and followed up by Eurostat. The follow-up process ensures that the recommendations are taken up by the Member States.

See Eurostat's Compliance Monitoring Report for Hungary.

Quality policy of HCSO is available on the HCSO’s website.

Quality quidelines for the statistical processes of the HCSO is available on the HCSO’s website.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Controls on the quality of the work

There is a manual mainly for the central staff about the methodology of Hungarian national CPI/HICP (and any other calculated price indices). It contains the all main characteristic of the organisation of the CPI/HICP work, from the price collection to the publication of the results.
There is a manual for price collectors (and of course for local staff as well) which contains instructions about selection of product offers in the outlet, the circumstances of replacement, etc which are revised regularly.
In each year we discuss the major evolutions of the preceding year with the local offices responsible for price collections and we give them written instructions for the future.

Controls on the quality of the data

There is a list of codes for the different price changes. (e.g. 1 - sales, 2 -sale is over, 7 - item change (without outlet change), 8 - item and outlet change, 9 - outlet change (without item change), etc.). The price collectors must indicate the appropriate code next to each price. The special software automatically checks the logical consistency between the previous month's price, the current price and the code. It is not possible to enter a code indicating a price movement contrary to that evident from the entered prices. The person in charge of prices for each local office examines the control list thoroughly. They correct any prices found to be inaccurate.
Automated checks are carried out at central office too. There are several lists that are automatically checked using a computer program.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Process and product quality monitoring implementation is under way.
According to the standard documents of the ESS quality system the HCSO developed it's quality policy and the methods and tools of quality assessment.
Quality policy of HCSO is available on the HCSO’s website.

Quality quidelines for the statistical processes of the HCSO is available on the HCSO’s website.

For the key indicators (so CPI/HICP) each department must prepare their quality report annually according to the 'standard quality criteria' but at the moment these documents are available only for internal use.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

'Our mission is to assist informed decision making, research and dialogue between all actors of society by producing and disseminating trusted, high-quality official statistics and analyses. Our vision is that HCSO gains respect in and outside Hungary for our committed staff being responsive to changing users’ needs, continuously increasing efficiency, improving quality, reducing burden on respondents and spreading statistical literacy.' — Quality policy of HCSO

  •  Inside HCSO

     National Accounts, Dissemination, Rural Development, Agriculture and Environment Statistics, Living Condition, Labour Market and Education Statistics.

     User needs: data production, analysis, income calculation.

  •  National organizations: Government, Authorities, National Bank

      User needs: data production, analysis, forecast, dissemination, database.

  •  Other national: news agencies, journalists, companies, courts, analysts, lawyers

      User needs: data production, analysis, forecast, dissemination, income calculation, deflation.<

  • European and international level: Eurostat, European Commission, IMF, ECB, DG-SANTÉ (ex DG-SANCO), OECD, ILO, UNSD

      User needs: data production, analysis, database.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

The Dissemination Department runs user satisfaction survey occasionally.

Until now, there was not any dedicated user satisfaction survey for the field of HICP/CPI.

12.3. Completeness

HICP indices and weights for Hungary are available from December 2000 (all-items and 2-digit COICOPs since January 1996).

HICP-CT are available from December 2005.

Hungarian data for ECOICOP 5 digit level are available from December 2014.


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

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

The price collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness. The outlets from which prices are collected are chosen to represent the existing trade and services network and they are based usually on three main criteria:

  •     Popularity with consumers;
  •     Significant turnover from consumer sales; and
  •     Availability of goods and services included.

Outlet sampling

Purposive outlet sampling based on trade register with supplementary information from price collector. The outlet sample is updated annually at county level; the central office monitors their activity.

Target sample

Elementary aggregates are always centrally selected but we make a request to our local offices to make proposals on new products/services or old ones they intend to cancel from the list of observed goods.
In certain cases the price collectors have some freedom to select the reference product-offer in different outlets. In these cases they are obliged to make a note of their selection (which has to be the most popular variety) on the price questionnaire. They have to indicate the characteristics of the selected reference product-offer, e.g. the brand name, trade mark, technical parameters thus by the means of these details the product can be identifiable unambiguous.
The rules on the selection are written down in the manual for price collectors, and the local co-ordinators organise a meeting for them every year.
HCSO reviews and updates the sample and our item list annually.
Quality indicators for sampling error and measurement and processing errors are not calculated at the moment.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable.

According to the HICP Refrence Metadata 13.2, ’the HICPs are statistical estimates that are subject to sampling errors because they are based on a sample of consumer prices and household expenditures, not the complete universe of all prices/expenditures.

The National Statistical Institutes (NSI) responsible for the compilation of national results do not generally produce numerical estimates of HICP sampling errors, which 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

Not applicable.

According to the HICP Refrence Metadata 13.3, ’The HICP non-sampling errors are not quantified. Eurostat and the NSIs try to reduce non-sampling errors through continuous methodological improvements and survey process improvements such as computer assisted price collection, which can help avoiding coding and typing errors.’


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Date of publication is t+8 calendar days, the 8th of the month following the reference month unless it falls on weekend or Monday. In these cases indices will be published on the next Tuesday. In the months of January and February the dates of publications are 3-4 working days after 8th, since in January not only the December’s data, but also the annual data are published; while in February it is the production of the updated weight numbers used for January for the first time that requires extra time.

First release of Consumer prices is published in every month according to the dissemination calendar.

The planned and the actual date of publication is the same in case of CPI/HICP.

Preliminary data and forecasts are not calculated thus there are no published index figures before the end of the month.

14.2. Punctuality

An advance release calendar that gives one-year-ahead notice of the precise release dates is disseminated on HCSO Internet website: Dissemination calendar.
First release of Consumer prices is published in every month according to the dissemination calendar. The planned and the actual date of publication is the same in case of CPI/HICP (punctuality is 100%). Preliminary data and forecasts are not calculated.

Datasets for HICP are transferred in every month according to the release schedule agreed by the Eurostat every year. If the publication dates of the national data are later than the deadline of the transmission the HICP figures, they are provided according to the release calendar but marked with embargo.

In Hungary transmission deadlines of HICP were met. No release dates were missed. Until 2013 in case of HICP-CT the transmission was one week later mainly due to the processing period.


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. From May 2004 the Hungarian HICP have been fully compliant with the regulations and guidelines. Data are geographically comparable.

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

Differences between the HICP and national CPI

The Hungarian HICP and the national CPI are almost the same, taking the view that the two indices should be as similar as possible for the sake of efficiency. The only differences are that:

  • in the CPI we use the ’national’ concept, while the HICP uses the ’domestic’ concept, so the expenditure by foreign visitors is included in the HICP,
  • the HICP does not include the cost of imputed rents – which was also excluded from the CPI from 2012 – and gambling/games of chance. Gambling is observed in the CPI,
  • in case of the HICP according to the Commission Regulation (EC) No 2601/2000 on the timing of entering purchaser prices into the HICP prices for services are entered into the index for the month in which the consumption of the service at the observed prices can commence. In case of the national CPI we take the prices into account when it appears in consumers’ invoice which normally happens with one or two month delay depending on services.

Methodological notes are available on the HCSO’s website.

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

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. The published HICP data may be revised for mistakes, new or improved information, and changes in the system of harmonised rules.

The HCSO has an own revision policy which is available on the HCSO’s website.

17.2. Data revision - practice

April 2013.

In case of COICOP headings 04.4.1 and 04.4.3 we had to revise the February data for HICP and HICP-CT as well. The reason of the revision: we detected an error in the database for these two categories when we produced the HICP data for March 2013, therefore we made a re-computation backwards as well. The mistake occurred in water and sewerage fees. In our new data processing program the time of recording the new prices of these services was handled incorrectly. The revision had a minor impact on the All-items index figures and on COICOP headings 04 and 04.4 index figures. Efforts are made to discover mistakes in the data during the checking procedure to avoid the need for revision.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Product selection, sampling and data collection are carried out by the HCSO. Source of weights are National Accounts. Source of prices are visits to local retailers and service providers and central collection via mail, telephone, email and the internet.

HICP based on the continuous measurement of a sample of prices of specified goods and services. The HICP based on samples sufficient to yield reliable and comparable results, taking into account the national diversity of products and prices.

As products or retail outlets disappear from the market, they are replaced with new ones. HICPs based on up-to-date samples. The HICP incorporate a new product when it achieves a sales volume of over one part per thousand of total consumers' expenditure covered by the HICP.

 

Sample size (reference year 2017)

Approximately 80000 price observations for approximately 1000 commodities are collected from approximately 11600 retail outlets in every month.

Number of price observations per month on average:  80000

01 Food and non-alcoholic beverages   26300
02
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco   2300
03
Clothing and footwear   10600
04
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels   3800
05
Furnishings, household equip. and routine maintenance of the house   10600
06
Health   3900
07
Transport   3100
08
Communications 400
09
Recreation and culture   7900
10
Education  300
11
Restaurants and hotels   4400
12
Miscellaneous goods and services   6200

In case of electricity, gas, subsidized pharmaceutical products, transport by railway, road and by air, telecommunication services, television licence fees, education, used cars and rent, additional prices are collected centrally.

 

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

All-items:  961

01
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 182
02
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco  26
03
Clothing and footwear  136
04
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels  54
05
Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house  111
06
Health  77
07
Transport  94
08
Communications  14
09
Recreation and culture  130
10
Education  7
11
Restaurants and hotels  44
12
Miscellaneous goods and services  86

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Timing of price observation
For nearly all goods, price collection involves the monthly observation of the price of selected items in selected outlets. The price collection involves each month the observation of the price of selected items in selected outlets. The observation time extends during the first 14 working days.

In case of fresh fruit and vegetables prices are collected twice (10 days apart) per month in the same outlets as the prices can be very volatile within the same month and thus result sharp and irregular price changes.

For fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment a greater extent was monitored that the price collection are divided uniformly. Besides the traditional price collection price data of the Hungarian Oil & Gas Company (market leader) is followed during the whole month as control information.

In the case of education fees and school books the data collection is less frequent than on a monthly basis because these prices stay unchanged during one semester. Therefore prices are collected in every September and they are used until the next year.

In the rest of the groups traditional price collection practices are applied which is done either by personal visit to retail outlets or some major companies with a central pricing policy supply prices directly.

18.3. Data collection

Methods

Traditional price collection practices are applied in most cases, which is done either by personal visit to local retail outlets, service providers or some major companies with a central pricing policy supply prices directly and central collection via mail, telephone, email and the internet.

In case of specific items prices are collected centrally: tobacco, pharmaceutical products, vehicles, transport by railway and by air, postal services, telecommunication services, television licence fees, toll facilities, newspapers and books, package holidays, education, insurance, financial services, administrative fees.

For transport by railway and road as well as postal services, toll facilities and administrative fees, prices are the same in the whole country with a basis of officialy defined prices by laws or regulations.

For electricity and natural gas prices are collected centrally in every month as there are four suppliers in the whole country with officially controlled prices.

From 2017 in case of television licence fees prices all collected centrally in every month at the largest providers on the basis of their market shares. The observed coverage is approximately 90%.

From 2017 prices for package domestic holidays are collected centrally, because prices are the same in the travel agencies and its not depend on the location of the agencies.

The situation is the same in case of other centrally collected prices.

From 2014 the traditional paper-based price collection questionnaire was replaced by eletronic devices (PDA). Price collectors record the prices to the PDA device. The data from the PDAs are uploaded to the database directly thereby assuring continuous monitoring of the collected data by CPI coordinators. Developing the data entry program and the data processing software provides more accurate and reliable results. In addition multiple control and monitoring functions were built into the system.

From 2017 on an experimental basis prices are collected centrally with ’web scraping’ techniques, (specific automatic data extraction from websites) in case of rent, package domestic holidays and airfares for international flights, parallel with the traditional methods and in case of used cars.

Outlet selection
Purposive outlet sampling is used, based on the trade register with supplementary information from price collectors.
Outlets are selected at local level, following general guidelines given to the local persons responsible for price collection in order to adjust the sample structure to the evolution of the retail trade structure (e.g. increasing ratio of super- and hypermarkets).
The number of outlets selected for each county depends on the number of inhabitants of the county:

  • less than 500,000: 5 outlets (foods), 4 outlets (other goods and services)
  • 500,000-700,000: 6 outlets (foods), 5 outlets (other goods and services)
  • more than 700,000: 8 outlets (foods), 6 outlets (other goods and services)
  • capital: 20-23 outlets

The outlet sample is updated annually at county level.
The outlet sample covers hyper- and supermarkets, discont, department stores, specialised shops, market stalls, and vice stations. Mail order and internet shopping is not currently included in the outlet sample since their market share is not significant.

Techniques of product selection and specification
In certain cases, the price collectors are free to select the reference product-offer in different outlets. In these cases, they are obliged to make a note of their selection (which has to be the most popular variety). They have to indicate the characteristics of the selected reference product-offer, e.g. the brand name, trade mark, and technical parameters, so that it can be unambiguously identified.
Both tight and loose specifications are given for the different groups, loose specifications are the most common, while for some durables (cars) tighter definitions and technical parameters are used.

18.4. Data validation

Processing and validation procedures are the following in local offices: When the price collector records the data (both prices and codes) on the PDA, the data entry software automatically checks the logical consistency between the previous month price, the current price and the code. It is not possible to enter a code which indicates a contrary movement in prices than comes from the price quotation. The person in charge of prices for each local office examines several control list thoroughly. They correct the prices found to be inaccurate, indicate this correction on the list and authorize the transmission of the price data by his/her signature. The control list must be kept for two years.

Processing program operates at central office too with several control functions. HCSO has several lists where automatic-checking procedures are implemented using a computer program. One list contains data for each item per counties: e.g.: the number of recorded prices in the current month, the previous month and the base month, the average price in HUF, the average price change in percentage of the previous month, the value of relative standard deviation, etc.

Another list contains a certain number of the lowest and highest recorded prices. The function of this list is to provide support for the maintenance of representative item data and for quality control with respect to the activity of those who compile prices in each case.

Quality and consistency checks are also carried out by Eurostat.

18.5. Data compilation

Weights

From 2012 the weights of HICP are based fully on the provisional macro data of National Accounts relating to the year t-2 while in previous years this data source was completed with the HBS data as well. The methodology of the weight calculation is fully in line with the recommendation of the implemented Commission Regulation (EU) No 1114/2010 which is in force from 1 January 2012.

The weights include expenditure by foreign visitors besides the expenditure by all household which takes place on the economic territory of the given country (domestic concept).

The weights are the same every month throughout the year.
Weights are changed annually, in relation to year t-2. The weights used in 2017 thus conform to the expenditure structure for 2015. Weights are price-updated to December t-1.
Concerning products, some of them have equal weight within the same basic heading. This feature exits in the case of a relatively homogeneous content and the requisite number (at least eight or ten) of representative items. The weights of other items derive from various sources. (e.g. retail trade data; Chamber of Commerce; weights of tariff derive from the suppliers; etc.).
HCSO does not calculate any local data. The average price of a product is calculated as the unweighted average of the prices collected nation-wide. As we collect fewer prices in smaller counties and more prices in larger counties (where the number of the inhabitants determines whether it is a small or large county) with this system we apply indirect weightings among counties.

Computation of lowest-level indices
The (unweighted) arithmetical mean is used for calculating the elementary aggregate average prices. However, in some cases (e.g. airfares, package holidays), the geometric mean is used. In these cases we apply different compilation practices and the price differences are relatively large.

Treatment of missing items and replacements
If a price is missing, imputation is applied for two month if there is any evidence that the original product-offer will be available again in the shop. The estimated prices are computed from the latest observed price multiplied by the average regional index of the given elementary aggregate.
Replacement procedure: in the case of 'old' items, the replacement is made by the price collector: the new product replaces the old one and the price difference between the two products counts as price change in the calculation of the index or some QA is applied. In the case of 'new' items, there are centrally defined replacements i.e. the introduction of new products follows the annual revision.

Introduction of newly significant goods and services
The product list is updated annually. It is then possible to take account of newly significant goods and services in the index calculation. The local offices have to send their comments, which include proposals for new items as well, based on the fieldwork of price collectors.

Treatment of price reductions
Price reductions are taken into account if they are available to all consumers with no special conditions attached (non-discriminatory), and if they are claimable at the time of purchase or over a sufficiently long period following the actual purchase that they might be expected to have a significant influence on the quantities purchasers are willing to purchase. The group most affected by price reductions is clothing (winter and summer sales).

Treatment of seasonal items

Weights
In case of group 01.1.6 Fruit and 01.1.7 Vegetables from January 2011 HCSO uses new method (strict annual weights) to define the weights of these items. At individual product level constant annual weights replaces the variable seasonal weights according to the implementation of the Commission Regulation No 330/2009 on the treatment of seasonal products in the HICP.
For group 03. Clothing and footwear, HCSO uses the fixed-weight approach (strict annual weights) in accordance with the Commission Regulation (EC) No 330/2009.

Index calculation
According to the Commission Regulation from January 2011 HCSO uses the 'all seasonal estimation' method in case of fruit, vegetables and clothing and footwear: 'In the first month of the out-of-season period, the estimated price is equal to a typical price observed in the previous in-season period and from the second month, the estimated price is equal to the estimated price for the preceding month, adjusted by the change in observed prices on average over all available products in the same subdivision of COICOP/HICP.'

(As regards the Regulation Article 3, in case of group 01.1.3 Fish it is not relevant in Hungary because items within the group are avaliable all year as well as their weights in the household consumption are also low.)

18.6. Adjustment

Adjustment for quality differences

The most affected product groups in respect of quality adjustment are groups which contain consumer durable goods (furnishings, household equipments, equipments related to recreation and culture, especially PCs and motor cars) and clothing and footwear. Other durable goods like books or smaller household appliances are also affected by quality changes.

The following table shows in which groups we apply quality adjustment regularly and which methods are used.

Quality adjustment methods applied in Hungary

Applied method

Group

Direct comparison and bridged overlap

Clothing and footwear
Regular maintenance and repair of the dwelling
Furniture
Major householdappliances
Audio-visual and photographic equipments
Long-selling markets for books

Direct comparison

Rapidly-changing markets for books
Audio and video recordings
Computer games

Bridged overlap

Motor cars

Option pricing

Motor cars
Information processing equipments

Judgmental adjustment

Motor cars
Information processing equipments

Single variable adjustment

Rapidly-changing markets for books

We avoid the systematic application of the bridged overlap method and use it only after a specific individual assessment of the replacement situation.

In other groups like some types of foods and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages, non-durable household goods, article and products for personal care and some kinds of services sometimes we also apply quality adjustment (package size adjustment and bridged overlap method), but not regularly.

During 2010 and 2011, HCSO reconsidered the approach to elementary aggregation and replacements and revisited the decision rules for case specific quality adjustment methods.


19. Comment Top

Major milestones in recent years:

From January 2013, we have transmitted the HICP-CT data at the same time as monthly HICP data. We produce HICP-CT according to the methodology described in the HICP-CT manual.

From 2014 the traditional paper-based price collection questionnaire was replaced by eletronic devices (PDA).

Hungarian data for ECOICOP 5 digit level are available in Eurostat's database from December 2014.

From December 2015 HICP and HICP-CT are computed and transmitted on the new 2015=100 basis according to the Commission Regulation No 2015/2010.

In 2016 Regulation No 2016/792 of the European Parliament and of the Council was implemented on harmonised indices of consumer prices and the house price index, and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95.

From January 2017, on an experimental basis, ’web scraping’ techniques (extracting price data from websites) are introduced for price collection, in case of rent, airfares, used cars and package holidays.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top