Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistics Portugal

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: PT1

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 Portugal

1.2. Contact organisation unit

National Accounts Department / Price Statistics Unit / Cunsumer Price Index Sector

1.5. Contact mail address

Av. António José de Almeida

1000-043 LISBOA


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 31/03/2017

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICPs) 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 Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices).

3.3. Coverage - sector

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

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The published is as follows:

1. Monthly data:

  • Indices(HICP 2015=100, HICP at constant taxes 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 Portuguese HICP covers the entire country.

3.8. Coverage - Time

HICPs for Portugal are available since 1995.

3.9. Base period

The index reference period is 2015=100.

4. Unit of measure Top

The 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. Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 of 23 October 1995 (OJ L 257/1) sets the legal basis for establishing a harmonised methodology for the compilation of the HICPs, the MUICP and the EICP.
Under this Regulation, the Commission has brought forward detailed Regulations establishing the specific rules governing the production of harmonised indices. To date, 18 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 recommendation on the treatment of health care has also been published.
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

Portuguese Law No 22/2008, (Official Journal No 92, Series I of 13 May 2008).

All personal data collected by the authorities, for statistical purposes, are considered confidential, being protected by the professional secrecy, either by employees or others who became aware of them by means of their professional duties related with the official statistical activity.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The release calendar is publicly available. It is displayed in the Statistics Portugal website for each year by the end of the previous year. Currently, Portuguese HICP figures are released on the 8th working day after the end of the reference month.

8.2. Release calendar access

Statistics Portugal website and Eurostat website.

8.3. Release policy - user access

The official statistics website (http://www.ine.pt/) is the main channel for the dissemination of statistical data.

The dissemination policy of Statistics Portugal lays down the fundamental principles governing the dissemination of official statistics, directly or indirectly produced under its responsibility. It should have as main reference the applicable principles of the National Statistical System: technical independence, statistical confidentiality, impartiality and accessibility.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Harmonised consumer price indices are disseminated monthly.

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

Press releases available on-line. Statistics Portugal publishes a monthly press release called “Destaque” in which the latest indices and rates of change can be found. A small version in English is also available.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Monthly statistical bulletins available on-line.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

The Portuguese HICP figures are available at Statistics Portugal database and at Eurostat HICP database.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access


10.5. Dissemination format - other

Statistical Yearbook of Portugal and Social Indicators.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

A document on the methodology both for the CPI and the HICP is available (only in Portuguese).

10.7. Quality management - documentation

See Eurostat's Compliance Monitoring Report of 2010.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Controls on the quality of the data:

Member states must compile HICPs in compliance with HICP methodological requirements and good practices in the field of consumer price indices. In order to achieve this aim Eurostat undertakes compliance monitoring visits to Member States with the aim to review HICP methodological issues. The last compliance monitoring visit to Statistics Portugal took place in December 2009 and the report was released in September 2010.

Quality assurance is performed at the relevant levels of the organization. At regional level, regional delegates and supervisors monitor the work of price collectors. Written documentation with guidelines is regularly provided by central coordination and immediately incorporated into field work. Meetings between central coordination and regional delegates, supervisors and price collectors take place regularly.

Each month, in the context of the report on short term economic developments produced by the department that incorporates the CPI/HICP unit, the results are cross-checked with other statistics, such as production and imports prices, data on indirect taxes and data from other sources.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The quality of the HICP is assessed to be high. Its concepts and methodology have been developed according to international standards and using consumer price statistics experience from all EU Member States.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Besides being a general measure of inflation, the HICP has 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 monetary policy,
  • Evaluation of monetary policy performance.

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

A key user of the HICPs is the European Central Bank (the ECB) who uses the euro area index (MUICP) as the main indicator for monetary policy management.

Other main users are National Central Banks and other financial institutions; trade unions and other social partners; economic analysts, media and public at large.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

User satisfaction surveys are regularly conducted by Statistics Portugal, enabling users to state their opinion. However, there are no specific questions regarding the HICP.

12.3. Completeness

No missing data.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy of the HICP is generally considered to be high. 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. There is a variety of data sources both for weights (National Account data, Household Budget Survey data, etc.) and prices (visits to local retailers and service providers and central collection via mail, telephone, e-mail and the internet are used). The type of survey and 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 in the HICP basket. All the private households in the economic territory of the country are covered, whether resident or not and irrespective of their income.

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.

In order to reduce the sampling errors samples are very large taking into account the economic dimension of the country. For the computation of the Portuguese HICP, not considering centrally collected prices, on average 118000 prices are observed monthly by the price collectors, from around 13150 retail outlets throughout the country.

Central price collection includes prices for products such as fuels (daily prices for all the retailers), electricity (prices for the most representative companies), telecommunication services (prices for all the companies), and in broad terms all prices collected on the internet.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Statistics Portugal tries 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

The HICP is published on the 8th working day after the end of the reference month, according to a pre-announced schedule. It is transmitted to Eurostat according to a pre-defined timetable.

14.2. Punctuality

The HICP has always been published on the pre-announced release dates and is transmitted to Eurostat in accordance with the pre-defined timetable.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The comparability of the Portuguese HICP with HICPs for other countries 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

The 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:

Non-residents consumption expenditure in the economic territory of the country is included in the HICP but excluded from the national CPI. Expenditure on games of chance and expenditure of national residents abroad are included in the national CPI but excluded from the HICP. This information is available in the CPI/HICP press releases.

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

The HICP direct costs per year are estimated to be around €1.330.000. Indirect costs are not included.

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 Portuguese HICP figures are revisable according to the rules set under Commission Regulation (EC) No 1921/2001 of 28 September 2001.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Prices are collected through a monthly survey of retail outlets and service providers, using paper collection forms and price collection software. Rent prices are collected directly from households using the same method or by phone interview. Some prices (such as administered prices and telecommunications) are centrally collected, by phone or internet.

In 2017 the number of representative items is 1215.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Timing of price observation:

Since January 2007, price collection takes place across at least a one working week period at, or near, the middle of the calendar month to which the index pertains (Regulation (EC) No 701/2006 on temporal coverage of price collection).

Most prices are collected on a monthly basis. A small set of prices that typically only observe marginal changes in the short run are collected every three months, on a rotation basis, meaning that in each month one third of the sample is collected.

Non-processed food items, such as fruits, vegetables and fish, whose price changes may be substantial in the very short run are collected twice or three times per month, in different weeks. Prices for fuels are collected every day.

Prices are collected on a yearly basis for products which prices are known to change once a year (e.g. education fees, social protection, public hospital services, road worthiness test).

For some specific and more complex services (e.g. air travel) prices are collected prior to the use of those services, two and one month before and in the reference month, always in the same day of the week and for the same predefined period. An average of the three prices (combining internet price collection, prices collected in travel agencies and prices collected directly in the airlines) is than taken into account in the CPI compilation. For CD’s, DVD’s, computer games and books an average of the top sales prices is considered.

18.3. Data collection

Outlet selection:

There are around 13150 outlets in the sample (outlets covered only by central price collection are not included). The outlets, from which prices are collected, are chosen to represent the existing trade and services network and they are usually based on three main criteria:

  • Popularity with consumers,
  • Significant turnover from consumer sales and
  • Availability of goods and services included in the CPI basket.

Internet shopping is included for most centrally collected items.

Techniques of product selection and specification:

The selection of products is mainly based on the results of the HBS and National Accounts. The market brands and the characteristics of the products are the result of market research. The index is chained annually, allowing for new goods and services to be brought in at the end of each year using data sources other than the HBS and NA, namely information provided by price collectors and information published by private and public institutions (for example, list of cars sold by the respective trade association, list of medicines sold by the competent public authority).

The specifications of the representative items are in general sufficiently broader to assure that prices are indeed collected. In some instances, the price collector has to choose the specific variety of the product for which the price will be collected and has to describe its relevant characteristics. Price collectors are instructed to price the most representative variety. The final decision on the inclusion of the observed price belongs, however, to the regional office. These decisions are taken by checking if the choice of the price collector is within the boundary of the specifications for each elementary aggregate.

18.4. Data validation

Data validation is performed at the different levels of the organization (supervisors, regional offices and central office). The software system at local and central level provides tools that allow for a regular validation. Extreme and unusual price changes are analyzed in detail and special attention is given to tariffs and regulated prices. Prices that remain stable for a long period are also checked.

18.5. Data compilation


National Accounts and the Household Budget Survey are the main source for the weights. A Tourist Expenditure Survey is also used. Specific data sources are also taken into account in the annual update of weights (e.g. administrative data on medicines, tobacco and fuel sales, new cars, tolls, motorcycles). Weights for each year are price-updated using December of the previous year as the reference period for the updating. More detailed information, specifically concerning Commission Regulation (EC) No 1114/2010 on minimum standards for the quality of HICP weightings is available at Eurostat website.

Computation of the lowest-level indices:

The ratio of geometric mean prices is calculated for each municipality (locality). These average prices are weighted using population weights to derive regional average prices. At this level, an index is compiled by comparing the current price level with the price level in the base period (average December year t-1 prices). The national index of a specific item is computed as a weighted average of the regional indices, where the weights, price updated to December year t-1, refer to the share of regional expenditure of the item in the national overall expenditure.

Treatment of missing items and replacements:

In most cases, missing prices are imputed according to the average increase in the same locality, for the same product, until the product-offer becomes available again. As soon as it is known that a missing product will not be available again, it is replaced. Replacements are made according to product characteristics and representativeness.

Introduction of newly significant goods and services:

Every year, Statistics Portugal identifies newly significant goods and services through administrative data and institutions reports as well as by taking into consideration information conveyed by price collectors, supervisors, regional and central offices. Newly significant goods are annually included in the index as new EAs within the chaining procedure.

Treatment of price reductions:

Price reductions are considered in accordance with the Commission Regulation.

Treatment of seasonal items:

Since January 2011, the methodology on the treatment of seasonal items is in accordance with Commission regulation (EC) No 330/2009 of 22 April 2009. Fixed weights are applied on seasonal items. Prices for out-of-season products are estimated using either counter-seasonal estimation (clothing and footwear products) or all-seasonal estimation (all other seasonal products, such as some fruit and vegetables). More detailed information is available in the 2011 press releases, in particular in the Portuguese version of the January 2011 press release. Additional data is available at Eurostat website.

18.6. Adjustment

Seasonal adjustments:

No seasonal adjustments are made.

Adjustments for quality differences:

As HICP aims at measuring 'pure' price changes, it should be unaffected by changes in quality of products. Prices are therefore adjusted for changes in quality of the goods and services.

19. Comment Top


Related metadata Top

Annexes Top