Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistics Norway

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: NO1

Data Flow: HICP_ESMS_A

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

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


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Statistics Norway

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Division for Price Statistics

1.5. Contact mail address

Akersveien 26
0177 Oslo

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 10/02/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 10/02/2017
2.3. Metadata last update 10/02/2017

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.

3.2. Classification system

COICOP/HICP (Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose adapted to the needs of Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices). ECOICOP (European Classification of Individual Consumption according to Purpose)

3.3. Coverage - sector

HICPs cover the whole household sector, more precisely the goods and services acquired by households.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The published data is as follows:

1. Monthly data:

  • Indices (HICP 2015=100)
  • Annual rates of change
  • Monthly rates of change
  • 12-month average rate of change

2. Annual data:

  • Average index and rate of change
  • Country weights
  • Item weights
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 HICP covers the mainland only.

When selecting the sample of outlets for the collection of prices, the country is divided into eight regions. Within each region, the outlets are selected with a probability proportional to the size of the turnover. As a result of this the sample mainly covers outlets in and near urban centres.

3.8. Coverage - Time

HICPs with harmonized coverage and methodology have been published since March 1997. Interim indices based largely on existing national Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) are available back to January 1996; these are adjusted to reduce differences in coverage of goods and services observed between national CPIs.

3.9. Base period

The index reference period is 2015=100.

4. Unit of measure Top

Following units are used:

  • Index (actually unitless, i.e. it is the ratio of the price of the basket in a given year to the price in the base year multiplied by 100. However, the HICP can be thought of as the amount the average consumer would have to spend in a given year to buy the same basic goods and services that one would have to pay 100 monetary units for in the base period);
  • Percentage change on the same period of the previous year (rates);
  • Percentage change on the previous period (rates);
  • Percentage share of the total (weights).

5. Reference Period Top


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

Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICPs) are harmonised inflation figures required under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Regulation (EU) 2016/792 of 11 May 2016 (OJ L 135) sets the legal basis for establishing a harmonised methodology for the compilation of the HICP, the euro area and the EU aggregates.

Under this Regulation, the Commission has brought forward detailed Regulations establishing the specific rules governing the production of harmonised indices. To date, over 20 specific regulations governing issues as 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 period, temporal coverage of price collection and sampling, replacement and quality adjustment procedures, and seasonal items have been adopted.A set of Recommendations is also available.

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


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

According to policy rules (see point 7.1).

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The national release calendar is available on Statistics Norway's website and updated with coming statistics the next 4 months.

8.2. Release calendar access

For national release:

Advanced release calendar

Eurostat website: HICP Release calendar

8.3. Release policy - user access

Statistics Norway disseminates HICP on Statistics Norway's website in a manner in which all users are treated equally.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Harmonised consumer price indices are produced and disseminated monthly.

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

News release online.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

All-item HICP including 2-digit and most 3-digit COICOP levels, is available and released on the 10 of every month on the internet. Data are also transmitted to Eurostat in advance of their release calendar. Data on the HICP are also published in the Statistical Yearbook.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

HICP database.

National database: StatBank.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access


10.5. Dissemination format - other

See also Eurostat's HICP section website.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

A description of the methodology and sources used to compile the HICP are published on the internet together with the monthly releases.

10.7. Quality management - documentation


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Controls on the quality of the data

Web questionnaires and scanner data are checked before entering databases. The prices are then put through tests, which identify duplicates and observations with large price changes from the previous month. The price material are then sorted by item and region, and revised further. Prices are also checked when sorted by item and when items are aggregated into groups.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The Norwegian HICP follows the methodology implemented by Eurostat through legislative acts implemented in the EEA agreement.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Besides as a general measure of inflation, HICPs have a variety of potential other uses, for example:

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

Generally, HICPs are in particular suited for cross-country economic comparisons.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No information.

12.3. Completeness

Statistics Norway deliver the full set of HICP indices and weights (COICOP 4-digit level) to Eurostat.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy of HICP is generally considered to be high. The accuracy of source data is monitored by assessing the methodological soundness of price and weight sources and the adherence to the methodological recommendations. Several data sources for weights (National Account main source) and for prices (web questionnaires, scanner data, electronic data files, central collection via email, internet search and telephone interviews) are used. The type of survey and the price collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

The outlet from which prices are collected are chosen from Statistics Norway's Business Register where the probability to be selected is proportional to the size of the turnover.

Furthermore, Statistics Norway actively follow up an Action Plan concerning quality adjustment and sampling issues and concrete best practices that have been agreed for a range of specific goods and services.

13.2. Sampling error

The HICPs are statistical estimates that are subject to sampling errors because they are based on a sample of consumer prices and household expenditures, which are not the complete universe of all prices/expenditures. Statistics Norway has not done any calculations on sampling error in the Norwegian HICP.

13.3. Non-sampling error

For the HICPs non-sampling errors are not quantified. Statistics Norway try to reduce non-sampling errors through continuous methodological improvements and survey process improvements such as using scanner data, web questionnaires and refined calculation programs to reduce the number of prices typed and revised manually.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The HICP for Norway is published the 10th of the month (or the closest working day), following the month in question.

14.2. Punctuality

The HICP for Norway has, since the launch in 1997, been published according to the pre-announced release dates.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The comparability of the Norwegian HICP to countries across Europe is regarded to be high. Definitions and classifications have been harmonised in a series of legal acts that have resolved conceptual disparities.

15.2. Comparability - over time

HICP data are considered to be comparable over time. There have been several improvements in methodology since HICP was introduced with the aim of improving reliability and comparability of the HICP.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Differences between the HICP and national CPI

There are few differences between the HICP and the national CPI:

In theory the HICP is based on the domestic principle of consumption concept, while the national CPI is based on the national principle of consumption concept. Using National Accounts as the primary weighting source makes it possible to have this distinction in the weights.

As of January 2011 FISIM and life insurance is included in the national CPI, but are defined outside the scope of the HICP. Also the cost for owner-occupied housing is included in the national CPI, but not in the HICP.

As of January 2011 the price reference period is December for both the HICP and the national CPI.

As on January 2017 both the national CPI and the HICP has the same base year (2015=100).

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

No information.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

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

17.2. Data revision - practice

The HICP data can be revised.

Revisions in the HICP: COICOP 0451 in January 2004, from August 2003 to December 2003.

Major changes in methodology are announced in advance, while information on minor methodological changes is provided in monthly releases.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Sample size

On average, about 35 000 price quotations are collected (excluding the scanner data on food and non-alcoholic beverages), most of them every month but some quarterly, twice a year or once a year. The sample consists of about 2 000 outlets/chains delivering web questionnaires, 2 500 tenants and all municipalities. In addition we have central data collection of online prices.  

Web questionnaires are used to collect prices for, according to weights, over 50 per cent of the representative items.

Scanner data is used for the collection of prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, pharmaceutical products, petrol, articles and products for personal care, cleaning and maintenance products etc. Scanner data cover price observationsfor 3 full weeks of the month.

Rentals for tenants are collected by web questionnaires and by means of computer assisted telephone interviewing directly from households.

Statistics Norway also receives electronic data files (among others purchase of cars, alcoholic beverages).

Prices are also collected centrally by using the internet, telephone and catalogues (i.e. newspapers, post and telecommunication services, package holidays, electricity prices, financial services, health services, airline fares, boats and boating equipment etc.).

Number of representative items at the lowest classification level: 729

The number of representative items decline as we introduce homogeneous coicop 6 groups, however the coverage does not deterioate as the homogeneous coicop 6 groups consists of large numbers of items representing the coicop 6 group in question. 

The primary source of data for weights is the National Accounts. On lower levels also the Household Budget Surveys, scanner data and annual retail trade statistics are used.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Timing of price observation

Prices for representative goods and services are collected monthly, and depending on which service/goods are covered prices are collected from across the whole month to only cover one day in the middle of the month. For some products that are characterized by sharp and irregular price changes within a month, as for example electricity prices, the data are collected across the whole month, according to the Council Regulation 701/2006 as regards the temporal coverage of price collection in the HICP. While prices collected by means of questionnaires, are sent to the outlets the 10th each month, and returned to Statistics Norway the first working day after the 15th.

18.3. Data collection

Outlet selection

The outlets/firms are selected from Statistics Norway's Business Register. The selection is made after stratifying the population by industry and region. The probability to be selected is proportional to the size of the turnover. One sixth of the outlets in the sample are replaced each year, which means that each outlet remains in the sample for six years. The sample amounts to about 2 000 outlets/chains.

The sample covers different types of outlets, from traditional shops, shopping centres, restaurants and hotels, together with internet sites and catalogues. For example, the prices for flowers and tobacco are collected from supermarkets as well as traditional shops.

The sample of outlets for food and non-alcoholic beverages is selected based on a different sample scheme. The population is stratified by chain and concept, rather than geographical region.

Techniques of products selection and specification

The representative items consist of a sample of 729 goods and services. The goods and services in the sample are selected based on information from the Household Budget Survey, branch information, market research data etc. The sample is regularly updated with new important products that enter the market while outdated products are removed.

After the new outlets have been selected, interviewers visit the outlets to inform the staff about the survey, and in cooperation with the staff the interviewers select the products (reference product-offer) that will be observed in the specific outlet and followed each month. The staff is then instructed to select the most representative product available in the outlet taking into consideration its specification as well as the instructions for selecting product offers agreed between the staff in the outlets and the interviewers.

The specifications for individual goods/services are more or less detailed, indicating size, unit, materials and brand characteristics. How tight or loose the specification will be depends on the nature of the product. If a product has many characteristics that could have an effect the price, the specification is more exact. There are detailed specification in case of i.e. technical products and some services. For some products such as clothing and footwear the specifications are looser.

18.4. Data validation

Data validation is done by the Statistics Norway in advance of delivering data to Eurostat and additional quality checks are also performed by Eurostat who will ask for a final validation of data before the Eurostat publication approximately 2-5 days after the data are published nationally.

18.5. Data compilation


Weights are updated every year and from 2011 the weights used in the HICP/CPI are derived from the National Accounts data on households final consumption expenditures. A preliminary version of National Accounts from year t-2 (where t is the index year) is being used.

Elementary aggregates on regional level is weighted together into a national index using annual retail trade statistics as a weight source. 

National Account data is the primarily weight source at aggregate level, while other sources of information are used as well, e.g. Household budget survey, branch information and market research data  for more detailed level.

Computation of the lowest-level indices

The price indices for elementary aggregates are calculated as a ratio of geometric mean prices. For a few items whose prices are collected centrally, indices on elementary level are calculated as a ratio of arithmetic mean prices. For food and non-alcoholic beverages the elementary aggregates are calculated by using a superlative price index formula (Törnqvist) based on monthly information on prices and quantities sold. The price indices for alcoholic beverages and new cars are also calculated by using a superlative price index formula.

Treatment of missing items and replacements

When a price observation is temporarily missing in a given outlet, the price of its substitute should be recorded and if not the missing price is imputed. If the product is temporary sold out the missing observation is imputed with the price change for the other observations for the same item within the same area. If the product is permanently missing, the missing observation is imputed as the average price for the other observations for the same item within the same area. When a substitute product is available in the outlet, the price of this product should be recorded. The outlets must register information about the following variables in the questionnaire; temporary or permanently missing, price reduction, new product and product of different quality. There is also a column for special remarks about the product.

Introduction of newly significant goods and services

The identification of new goods and services is a continuous process throughout the year: existing products are reviewed for their continued relevance and research is undertaken to identify new goods and services. The basket of goods and services, including newly significant goods and services, is updated in December every year. For identifying new and newly significant goods and services, different sources of information are used, e.g. detailed Household budget surveys, branch information, market research data and suggestions from outlets and interviewers based on their knowledge of what is actually being sold.

Treatment of price reductions

Seasonal sales, other sales prices and reduced prices (e.g. special offers, discounts, etc.) are included in the index when they are available to all potential consumers with no special conditions attached.

Treatment of seasonal items

The treatment of seasonal items is in accordance with the Commission regulation on the treatment of seasonal products. For items with strong seasonal pattern, for example clothing, the seasons have been carefully defined. The first month the item is out-of-season a 'typical price' from the in-season period is imputed. As of the second month out-of-season the item is imputed with the price change of the other items within the same consumption group, which is the same as redistributing the weight to the other items within the same group.

For price indices of food, like fish, fruit and vegetables, scanner data is used on elementary level. Using scanner data where each elementary aggregate may consists of a very high number of different products with different seasonal pattern makes it difficult to define the seasonal products and their seasons, and therefore difficult to apply the regulation on scanner data based indices.

18.6. Adjustment

Adjustment for quality differences

During a year, price adjustments due to quality changes are most frequently made for technological products and clothing. The following methods are used:

Implicit methods: Monthly chaining is used for cars, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and alcoholic beverages. Even though this is not considered a quality adjustment method it reduces the need for making quality adjustments.

Direct price comparison: clothing.

Bridged overlap: where possible on centrally collected prices.

Base-price imputation: mainly used for all other products.

Judgmental QA: clothing, technological products.

Mixed approaches: where necessary.

19. Comment Top


Related metadata Top

Annexes Top