Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (SORS)

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: RS1

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

Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia (SORS)

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Price statistics division

1.5. Contact mail address

5 Milana Rakica str., Belgrade 11000, Serbia

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

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 for the purposes of directly satisfying consumer needs. 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

The HICPs 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.

From January 2016, SORS produce ECOICOP 5-digit level indices. Until then only the 4-digit level was available.

3.3. Coverage - sector

HICP covers the consumption expenditure for the goods and services that are acquired by households.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The published data is as follows:

Monthly data:

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

Each published 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 account concepts in the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).

HICPs comprise all products and services purchased in monetary transactions by households within the economic territory of a country by both resident and non-resident households (i.e. 'domestic concept').

3.7. Reference area

The HICP covers the entire area of the Republic of Serbia. For the purpose of price collection, the country is divided into fifteen regions which are economic and administration centers and represent the whole country. The largest urban centers and the area around these have been deliberately selected (Beograd, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Leskovac, Niš, Smederevo, Šabac, Užice, Valjevo, Zaječar, Novi Sad, Sremska Mitrovica, Subotica, Zrenjanin i Pančevo).

3.8. Coverage - Time

HICPs with harmonised coverage and methodology have been available since January 2013 and go back to January 2005.

3.9. Base period

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

4. Unit of measure Top

Following units are used:

  • Index (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);
  • Proportion of the total expenditure (weights) expressed in per milles.

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 regulation 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 cross-border internet purchases, the treatment of rents, telecommunications and health care have also been agreed.

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

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

European legislation

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009, stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for HICP production.

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

National legislation

Official statistics law (Official gazette of RS, No 104/2009).

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The confidential data transmitted are used exclusively for statistical purposes and only accessible to staff working in statistical activities. In order to protect individual's information privacy and business interests of business units, only aggregated data are published (observation units are not recognizable either directly or indirectly). Therefore, adjusted contents of the tables are in use and certain rules are applied to protect data (Official statistics law, Official gazette of RS, No 104/2009).n order to protect individual's information privacy and business interests of business units, only aggregated data are published (observation units are not recognizable either directly or indirectly). Therefore, adjusted contents of the tables are in use and certain rules are applied to protect data (Official Statistics Law (Official gazette of RS, No 104/2009)).

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The release calendar is publicly available and published at the end of the year for the full following year on the SORS website, in Serbian and English.

8.2. Release calendar access

Eurostat website: HICP Release schedule.

SORS website: http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/WebSite/Public/CalendarView.aspx?pKey=37&cType=1

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice, the release policy determines the dissemination of statistical data respecting professional independence to all users at the same time in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. Users are informed of a data release by the release calendar (see point 8.2).  Press release is available in English, too.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Monthly, round the 12th of the month following the reference.

See point 8.2.

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

The HICP - Total index is published together with the Statistical release on CPI on the website: http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/WebSite/, at 12:00  (local time), on the day of release,  in Serbian as well as in English language.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

At national level HICPs are published together with CPI in the following publications: Statistical Release, mark CN11 (available on the SORS website).

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

From October 2016, in Eurostat HICP database.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access


10.5. Dissemination format - other


10.6. Documentation on methodology

Short explanation of the HICP methodology is given in Statistical Release: Consumer Price Indices (CN11).

More information about HICP methodology including and series of statistical articles relating to the HICP is available on the HICP dedicated sectionon Eurostat’s website.

10.7. Quality management - documentation


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Not available.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Not available.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

HICPs are in particular suited for cross-country economic comparisons. Also is used in the areas:

  • 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.

The key users of the HICP are national state institutions (National Bank, the Ministry of Economy and the Government), other national users (financial institutions, economic analysts, the media, students, enterprises and the general public), European and international institutions (Eurostat, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, UN ECE, etc.) and internal users (other statistical departments in the SORS).

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No information.

12.3. Completeness

HICP indices and weights are available since January 2005. COICOP indices at 5-digit level are transmitted to Eurostat each month.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy of source data is monitored by assessing the methodological soundness of price and weight sources and adherence of the methodological recommendations. The goods and services selected for the basket are those of most importance to the customers; have a significant share in total consumption; best reflect the changes of prices of related products. Methodology recommendations are taken into account.

There are a variety of data sources both for prices and weights.

Prices are collected in outlets, craftsmen, supermarkets, markets, etc., also via the internet and by phone. They reflect the price situation for the whole country. Price collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness. The outlets from which prices are collected are chosen to represent the existing trade and service network and are based usually on the following criteria: popularity with consumers, significant turnover from consumer sales, availability and representativeness of goods and services included in HICP basket.

Weights are based on the data from NA on the structure of household final monetary consumption expenditure, HBS, etc. The type of survey and the price collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

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, not the complete universe of all prices/expenditures. The SORS does not 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.

The SORS try to reduce the sampling errors by using a deliberate sample of consumer prices that is as large as possible in each geographic area and each item category, in order to minimize the variance of the all-items index.

Every sub-index level contains enough number of elementary aggregate which could show movement of prices realistic. Principe of representatives is applied.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Non-sampling errors are not quantified. SORS tries to reduce non-sampling errors through continuous methodological and survey process improvements which can help avoiding coding and typing errors.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

HICP-Total index is published each month about 12th and relate to the previous month and the same month of previous year, in the edition Statistical Release with the mark CN 11, and they are also presented on the website of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia according to a pre-announced schedule http://www.stat.gov.rs/WebSite/Public/CalendarView.aspx?pKey=37&cType=1.

The January News Release each year is published about 22nd February due to the annual updating of the weights system.

From October 2016, Serbian HICP is also available on Eurostat http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/hicp/data/database

14.2. Punctuality

Since  January 2013, the HICP is published together with the CPI each month according to pre-announced release dates.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Serbian HICP is in line with the definitions and classifications which are harmonised in a series of legal acts that have resolved conceptual disparities.SORS produce HICP based on minimum standards HICP Commission and Council Regulations and Recommendation.

HICP is produced only on the country level.

15.2. Comparability - over time

HICP data are fully comparable over time. There have been several improvements in coverage and methodology with the aim of improving reliability and comparability of the HICP. These changes may have introduced breaks in time series. However back calculation under the newer standards was performed when appropriate basic data was available.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Differences between national CPI and HICP are based on:

  • The weights concept: HICP are based on domestic concept, while national CPI is based on the national concept of consumption and on the price reference period.
  • Base period: for HICP is December of previous year, while CPI price deferens period is average of the previous year.
  • Coverage:HICP covers the consumption expenditure of both resident and non-residents and institutional households within the economic territory of the country, while CPI covers the residents consumption expenditure within the economic territory of the country and abroad.
15.4. Coherence - internal

HICPs are internally 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 can be revised for mistakes, new or improved information, and changes in the system of harmonized rules.

17.2. Data revision - practice

The HICP data are published monthly, as final and are not subject to any revision. Major changes in methodology are announced in advance. If revisions are required in the future according to an error, SORS will revise the HICP.

Starting with January 2016 data, the reference year of the HICP changed to 2015=100. The change of reference year may cause differences in aggregates calculated from the 2015=100 series and the aggregates calculated from the 2005=100 series because of rounding effects.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Product selection, sampling and data collection are carried out together by the SORS and price collectors. There is a variety of data sources both for weights (National Accounts, Household Budget Survey, data from other statistics departments, Ministries, etc.) and prices (visits to local retailers and service providers, central collection via mail, telephone, email and the internet). The type of survey used is chosen by the SORS. HICPs are based on the continuous measurement of a sample of prices of specified goods and services. The HICPs are based on samples sufficient to yield reliable and comparable results, taking into account the diversity of products and prices. As products or retail outlets disappear from the market, they need to be replaced with new ones. HICPs calculations are based on up-to-date samples, whereby 'missing' prices are estimated, not simply assumed to be equal to the last observed prices. The HICP incorporate a new product when it achieves a sales volume of over one part per thousands of total consumers' expenditure covered by the HICP.

HICP measure 'pure' price changes, prices should be unaffected by changes in the quality of products and they are adjusted for changes in quality of the goods and services.


Sample size (reporting year 2016)

Number of price observation per month: approximately 29 838

01. Food and non-alcoholic beverages  12 354
02. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco  1 276
03. Clothing and footwear  3 941
04. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels  783
05. Furnishings, Household equipment and routine maintenance of the house  3 857
06. Health  1 357
07. Transport  969
08. Communication  749
09. Recreation and culture  1 744
10. Education  107
11. Restaurants and Hotels  1 102
12. Miscellaneous goods and services  1 599


Number of elementary aggregates (representative products) at the lowest classification level:

All-items: 638

01. Food and non-alcoholic beverages  168
02. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco  20
03. Clothing and footwear  91
04. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels  40
05. Furnishings, Household equipment and routine maintenance of the house  90
06. Health  29
07. Transport  47
08. Communication  26
09. Recreation and culture  55
10. Education  7
11. Restaurants and Hotels  27
12. Miscellaneous goods and services  38

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Price collection takes places between the 1st and the 23rd in the month to which the index pertains, by collectors’ full-time price employed by SORS.

For the purpose of organizing the observation time in individual months and to cover the whole month, items are classified into following related groups for witch prices are observed in a certain period of the month:

Agricultural products (observed in the 1st and 3rd week);

Non-food products (between 1st and 10th of the month);

Food products (between 11th and 14th of the month);

Services (between 14th and 23rd of the month);

Fuels (every Wednesday in the month).

For the products which show irregular price changes within the month, prices are collected more than ones (agricultural products and fuels) as stipulated in Regulation (EC) No 701/2006 on temporal coverage of price collection.

18.3. Data collection

The price collection methods are chosen by the SORS, with aim to ensure sufficient quality, according to the legislative framework underlying the production of HICP.

Outlet selection:

Purposive sampling method is applied. The number of outlets was determined according to size of particular town. The number and structure of outlets ensure that the optimum number of prices is observed, enough to represent national prices for any group of goods and services observed.

Techniques of product selection and specification:

Price collectors are free to initially select a particular product offer for pricing in a particular outlet according to Methodology and Guidelines for price collecting. The selection of particular product offer is done according to the criteria of which product is the most sold in the outlet. In order to make sure that the same product is then re-priced each month, and in order to be able to observe which products are selected or pricing, the price collectors should also record a pre-defined set of additional product characteristics for each priced product.

Techniques of price collection:

Most prices are collected in field (locally, by price collectors visiting the outlets). The prices of public services, local transport, social services and some other services are collected from local authorities.

For about 15% goods and services, is applied centrally price collection, done by specialists of the Price statistics unit of SORS. This is the case of state monopolies and nationally homogeneous prices, i.e. cars, insurance, tobacco, post and telecommunication services, package holidays, electricity and fuel prices, financial services, PC equipment’s, airplane tickets.

18.4. Data validation

Data validation is carried at different levels of the HICP compilation.

The first control of prices is done by price collectors on the field, before sending price data in Central office.

Second validation is carried out in SORS by central staff. The Price Statistics Division carries out the verification of the data received using the data control program designed for the monthly checks against data entering errors and mistakes. Computerized and manual checks are undertaken at various stages of price and index compilation. The verification sheets contain information on the price data entered and information related to the current and previous months; reasons of price changes indicated by price collectors, ratios of prices for all price quotations in each territorial units, covering all goods and services; the period of the last change of the price observed; the smallest and the highest prices; the coefficient of variation. Errors and questionable entries are marked by certain symbols. Particular attention is paid to quality changes, to prices that do not change for some period of time, to the lowest and the highest prices. In some cases, the dubious price changes are checked by reference back to the outlet. The staff of the Price Statistics Division clarifies all uncertainties with the price collectors via the telephone and e-mail.

18.5. Data compilation


Sources of weights: The main data source for the calculation of the HICP weight structure is data obtained from the National Accounts. National Account data are the main source for determining the weights at higher levels, while for lower level, breakdowns are done using HBS data. The weight reference period is y-2.

The weights on 4-digit levels are based on Final Monetary Consumption Expenditure data obtained from the NA (t-2). The weights are classified according to the COICOP/HICP. Weights data from NA are adjusted with date from other sources (statistical as well as non-statistical). Detailing of weights' system is made using the information from HBS. The number of weights at the lowest level of aggregation is 638 for 2016.

The weights reference period for 2017 HICP is the year 2015, price reference period - December of the previous year.

The weights are changed every year. The critical weights are adjusted using the most recent statistical data (domestic trade, transport and services, energy statistics) as well as the information from other enterprises. Data for the weights reference period are price updated to the price reference period (December of the previous year).

Computation of the lowest-level indices

Elementary aggregates indices are on the lowest-level. The ratio of geometric mean is used for computing the price indices for the elementary aggregates.

The next step is calculation indices for higher level (sub-indices) up to Overall level (All-Items HICP) using weights system and Laspeyres-type formulae. Lowest-level indices are aggregated into the price indices of classes, groups, divisions (and Total) of the ECOICOP.

Treatment of missing products and replacements
When a non-seasonal item is temporarily missing in a given outlet, the last recorded price is retained for one month, exceptionally up to two months, but usually at the same time the price for its substitute is observed. When it is clear that a non-seasonal item is missing permanently (in the third month or earlier), the item is substituted with the most comparable one in the same or in the most similar another outlet.

Introduction of newly significant goods and services
Price collectors are instructed to observe developments in the market, to identify new goods and services and to report these to the Price Statistics Division. The central staff investigates the market, evaluates the relevance to households of new products and, using all available information, makes a decision whether they are significant and should be introduced into the HICP. This is done according to a planned timetable to coincide with the annual update list of goods and services at the end of each year. Prices of new products are started to be collected from December of current year (with inclusion into HICP in next year). Goods and services that became insignificant for consumers or disappeared entirely from the market (they are not produced or imported no more) are excluded from product list.

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 condition attached and with duration at least two weeks. Reduced prices for special sales stock (which will normally be of lower quality or quantity) are not observed.

Treatment of seasonal products

Particular products (some of fresh fruit, vegetables, clothes, footwear) are considered as seasonal. Their sale periods are from 2 to 6 months and sometimes duration and terms of every season differ from year to year.
In the out-of-season period, prices of seasonal products are estimated by applying the minimum standards for the treatment of seasonal products in the harmonized indices of consumer prices (HICP), set in the Commission Regulation (EC) No 330/2009 of 22 April 2009.

All-seasonal estimation is used. Estimation is carried out in the following way:

  • In the first month of the out-of-season period, the monthly typical price is calculated as average prices for months.
  • From the second month of the out-of-season period, the estimated monthly price is applied for each product which is out-of-season. To obtain the price ratio for estimation, only prices for products available in the current and previous months are used. The higher level price index is calculated using the weights of all (seasonal and non-seasonal) products belonging to the same class or sub-class and the long-term prices ratios at the territorial unit level.

In the first month of the new in-season period, available prices are observed by price collectors and the reporting month price for a product-offer in each outlet is compared with the estimated prices of the previous month.

No seasonal adjustments are made.

18.6. Adjustment

Seasonal adjustments:

Adjustments for quality change

The quality descriptions of the products are carefully observed to ensure their comparability from month to month. Each change in their descriptions is taken into account. QA are done in central office case by case. There is no automatism. As HICP aims to measure 'pure' price changes, prices are adjusted for changes in quality of the goods and services using:

Explicit methods

  • Direct price comparison: e.g. clothing - as required,
  • Option pricing: new cars - as required,
  • Judgmental QA: e.g. clothing, cars - as required,
  • Package size adjustment: e.g. food and medicine,
  • Mixed approaches: - as required.

Implicit methods

  • Overlap: e.g. clothing, audio visual goods - as required,
  • Bridge overlap: e.g. PCs, technical products, household appliances - as required.

At present, hedonic method is not used.

Minor quality changes are disregarded.

19. Comment Top


Related metadata Top

Annexes Top