Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistics Sweden (SCB), the National Statistical Institute of Sweden

Time Dimension: 2017-A0

Data Provider: SE1

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 Sweden (SCB), the National Statistical Institute of Sweden

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Price Statistics Unit

1.5. Contact mail address

Postal address: Statistics Sweden
Box 24300

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.

3.2. Classification system

COICOP/HICP (Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose adapted to the needs of Harmonised 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: 1996=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 entire geographical area of the country is covered. The sampling of outlets for price collection uses as the frame a Business Register containing all the outlets in the country.

3.8. Coverage - Time

HICP data for Sweden are available from 1995 (earlier figures are estimated from the national CPI).

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. Council Regulation (EC) No 2016/792 of 11 May 2016 (OJ L 135) sets the legal basis for establishing a harmonised methodology for the compilation of the HICPs, HICP-CT, OOH price index and HPI.
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

The published figures should not reveal any individual data. If the business situation is such that a published index reveals the data source, the index is not published.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The release calendar is publically available and published in September for the full following year.

8.2. Release calendar access

Eurostat's website HICP calendar.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice, Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.
In line with this protocol and on a strictly regulated basis, data on Harmonised Consumer Prices (HICPs) are sent for information to the European Central Bank (ECB) and to the European Commission Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) under embargo the evening before the official release of data.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Harmonised consumer price indices are produced monthly.

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

News releases on-line.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

In the national publication, the HICP is available at overall level. Breakdowns by COICOP sub-aggregates are given for the national CPI but not for the HICP in the national publication. The CPI and the HICP are available on the website of Statistics Sweden (the NSI): www.scb.se.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

HICP database.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

None if not specifically asked for.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

See also Eurostat's HICP section website.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The national website presents the statistics in HTML and PDF formats and provides a database with detailed time series for the CPI. Other documents on concepts and methods for the indices can also be found at the website. The national CPI was reviewed by a Government Commission, whose report, under the reference SOU 1999:124 (in Swedish, with summary and annexes in English), is available at http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/108/a/1227

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not available.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Controls on the quality of the data
Collected price data are checked and edited in several steps. First, the price collectors' notes and signal indications regarding model changes, missing prices etc. are reviewed. Checks are made for missing or duplicate price records. Then, lists for editing are iteratively produced and reviewed to check for unexpectedly deviating prices, etc. This is to ensure that such data are not due to mistakes in processing, and the data are edited as and when needed. The price collectors' judgmental valuations of quality changes are also reviewed in this process. The price collectors or outlets are contacted for further information on specific cases when necessary. In a macro-editing step, all CPI staff meet together and review detailed lists from a provisional computation of sub-indices and rates of change, as compared against corresponding data from earlier periods.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The quality of the HICP can be assessed to be very high. Its concepts and methodology have been developed according to international standards and using consumer price statistics experience from all EU Member States. HICPs are considered to be sufficiently accurate for all practical purposes they are put into. In particular it is the best measure of inflation for the euro area and European Union as whole as well as for the comparisons of inflation across countries for which it is compiled. The indices are disseminated around mid-month following a predetermined timetable.
Further work is ongoing to improve the quality and in particular comparability of the index. Key priorities are the treatment of owner-occupied housing (currently excluded) and greater harmonisation of methods for quality adjustment and sampling. Eurostat and the national statistical institutes are also working on additional indices, for example an HICP index at constant tax rates.

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.
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. The ECB and the European Commission, in particular its Economic and Financial Affairs Directorate-General use HICPs for assessing the price stability and price convergence required for entry into European Monetary Union.
The main users, apart from those above, include National Central Banks and other financial institutions; economic analysts, media and public at large.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No information.

12.3. Completeness

All COICOP indices at 5-digit level are produced.

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. 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.
Furthermore, Eurostat and the Member States are actively following up an Action Plan concerning quality adjustment and sampling issues. Concrete best practices have been agreed for a range of specific goods and services (in particular cars, consumer durables, books and CDs, clothing and computers).

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.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not estimated.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The full set of HICPs is published each month according to a pre-announced schedule (about two days after the data delivery deadline) - in general between 14 and 16 days after the end of the month in question. This schedule has advanced significantly since the HICP was first published, as a result of a series of improvements to timeliness made both in the EU Member States and at Eurostat.
The publication of the HICP take place approximately two days after the publication of the national CPI.

14.2. Punctuality

Since the launch, in March 1997, the HICPs for Sweden has always been published on the pre-announced release dates.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The comparability of HICP across countries is regarded to be high. Definitions and classifications have been harmonised in a series of legal acts that have resolved conceptual disparities. HICPs are produced based on minimum standards, which may be applied with some flexibility as long as the effect on the value of the indicator remains below 0.1%. Member States differ in the frequency of updating weights. Some countries apply a 'fixed base index formula', updating the weights in three to five-year intervals; others compute a chain-index with annual weight updating. However, the effect on the value of the indicator is negligible and therefore these differences do not affect comparability.
The work carried out for the harmonisation of quality adjustment and sampling methods across EU countries is expected to further improve the comparability of the HICP.

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 following expenditure is included in the HICP but excluded from the national CPI:

  • COICOP 06.3: Hospital services.
  • COICOP 12.4, part of: Elderly care.
  • COICOP 12.6.2, part of: Other financial services n.e.c.: Services that are charged in proportion to transaction value.

The following consumption expenditure is included in the national CPI but excluded from the HICP:

  • COICOP 04, part of: User capital cost of owner-occupied housing (including real-estate tax).
  • COICOP 04, part of: Monthly charges in housing co-operatives (bostadsrätter).
  • COICOP 09.4.1, part of: Games of chance (service charge).
  • COICOP 12.6.2 part of; Brokerage fees (real estate)

The national CPI is designed for several kinds of use, for example compensation. For many years now, the national CPI has been defined as a Cost-of-Living Index (coli). This has implications for the upper level aggregation, which deviates from HICP rules. As of 2005, the national CPI uses a superlative index formula (Walsh) for annual link chaining between full years. As far as possible, the HICP and the national CPI share the same source data, data preparation and low-level aggregation. The national CPI is published with a breakdown according to COICOP. There is a CPI Board of Experts, which is authorized to decide on matters of principle for the CPI calculations.

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.

17.2. Data revision - practice

A technical revision of the HICP series was carried out in January 2006, in preparation for the general change of the HICP index reference year to 2005=100.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Sample size (reference year 2015)
Approximately 21 300 price observations (excluding scanner data) for approximately 386 product groups are collected from 1 600 retail outlets and other sources.

No of price observations per month: 21 300 + scanner data

01 Food and non-alcoholic beverages 3 400 + scanner data

02 Alcoholic beverages, tobacco 60 + scanner data

03 Clothing and footwear 3 400

04 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 2 500

05 Furnishings, household equip. and routine maintenance of the house 2 000 + scanner data

06 Health 600 + scanner data

07 Transport 2 200

08 Communications 800

09 Recreation and culture 2 900

10 Education 40

11 Restaurants and hotels 1 100

12 Miscellaneous goods and services 2 300


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

All-items: 386

01 Food and non-alcoholic beverages 98

02 Alcoholic beverages, tobacco 24

03 Clothing and footwear 4704 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 14

05 Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 46

06 Health 9

07 Transport 30

08 Communications 709 Recreation and culture 5810 Education 1

11 Restaurants and hotels 21

12 Miscellaneous goods and services 31


Methods of price collection

Local price collection is used except for the following product categories:

02.1 (except part of 2.1.3): Alcoholic beverages (except light beer) – Externally computed index.

04.1 Actual rentals for housing – Special survey of landlords.

04.4 Water, services relating to dwelling – Central price collection.

04.5 Electricity, fuels – Central price collection. Tariffs.

06.1.1 Pharmaceutical products – Externally computed index, modified by NSI to show subsidy changes.

06.2, 06.3 Health, Services – Central price collection. Tariffs, subsidy changes.

07.1.1, part: Used cars – External data supplier.

07 rest: Transport – Central price collection.

08 Communications – Central price collection. Tariffs.

In 09.2 Durables for recreation and culture: for boats etc. – Central price collection.

09.4 Recreational and cultural services – Central price collection.

09.5.1; 09.5.2 Books; Newspapers and periodicals – Central price collection.

In 11.2 Accommodation: for camping and cottages – Central price collection.

12.4–12.7 Social protection, Insurance, Financial services, Other services – Central price collection Tariffs.

Deviating definitions

Deviating definition for COICOP 04.1: Actual rentals for housing

Swedish rents include heating and services relating to the dwelling, such as water etc. The weight is reduced by the cost of heating.

Deviating definition for COICOP 04.4: Services relating to the dwelling

These sub-indices pertain to owner-occupiers only. A distinction cannot be made between 04.4.1 Water and 04.4.3 Sewerage, those sub-indices are identical.

Estimation for COICOP 04.5.5: Heat energy

Heating price changes in rented dwellings are estimated from rents.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Timing of price observation
For the central price collection prices are normally collected in the calendar week that contains the 15th day of the month. For the prices collected by price collectors directly from shops the prices are collected during three weeks. The week before the week that contains the 15th day of the month, the week that contains the 15th day of the month and the week after the week that contains the 15th day of the month.

18.3. Data collection

Outlet selection
800+ outlets are sampled from a Business Register maintained by Statistics Sweden (the NSI). This is done by probability sampling with an Order PPS design (i.e. with selection probability proportional to size). The size measure used for the PPS sampling is defined as the number of employees plus one. The outlet sample is partly renewed annually. Approximately another 800 outlets in the form of websites, shops, etc are used for the central price collection.

Techniques of products selection and specification

  • Approach used for most kinds of products

A purposive sample of product specifications is used. This sample of specifications is annually reviewed so as to currently represent the consumer preferences. The product specifications are fairly wide or 'loose'.
Example: For TV sets the major type of screen and the screen size range are specified, but not the brand or special features. Within the product specifications, the price collectors select models (product variants) to follow price. The price collectors are instructed to choose in each sampled outlet the model that is most sold.

  • Approach used for certain kinds of food products and other daily necessities (parts of COICOP 01, 02.1.3, 02.2, 05.6.1, 12.1.2/3)

A sample of narrowly or 'tightly' defined product specifications is taken annually by probability sampling with an Order PPS design from wholesalers' product registers. 

  • Approach for alcoholic beverages and for pharmaceutical products (COICOP 02.1, 06.1.1)

For alcoholic beverages and pharmaceutical products, index computations are made by the government monopoly companies from comprehensive sets of price data. The product specifications are narrow (tight).

  • Approach used for rentals for housing (COICOP 04.1)

Rents for a probability sample of 1 000 rented dwellings are collected from landlords by a rent survey.

  • Approach used for cars and motorcycles (COICOP 07.1.1, part of 07.1.2/3/4)

An Order PPS sample of vehicle models is taken annually. A statistical table on the number of newly registered vehicles by model is used as sampling frame.

  • Approach used for music recordings, video recordings, cinemas and books (parts of COICOP 09.1.4, 09.4.2, 09.5.1)

For music recordings, video recordings and books, prices are recorded for the five currently most popular titles in the outlet. For cinemas a similar approach is used. 

18.4. Data validation

Data validation is done by National Statistical Institutes; additional quality checks are carried out also by Eurostat.

18.5. Data compilation


The main sources of the weights are the National Accounts and Household Budget Survey. There are 386 weights at national level. The reference period for the present weights is the year t-2. The weights are updated every year.

Computation of the lowest-level indices
For index computation at the lowest level, the ratio of the geometric mean prices is used for almost all aggregates (the Jevons index), whereby low-level weights are used where suitable weighting information is available. From 2005, the only exception is for COICOP Class 04.4, Water and other (municipal) services related to the dwelling, where the ratio of arithmetic mean prices (the Dutot index) is used instead.

Treatment of missing items and replacements
Missing prices are normally left out in the index computation, which is effectively equivalent to imputing price changes (since December) by mean price change.
For the selection of replacement products, price collectors are instructed to select the model that is most sold in the outlet and which meets the product specification. The price collectors are also instructed to replace models that no longer sell well, even if still available in the outlet.

Introduction of newly significant goods and services
Newly significant goods and services are identified in the annual review of the sample of product specifications. The process is supported by information from price collectors, from the industries concerned, and from Eurostat.

Treatment of price reductions
Prices subject to reductions enter into the index computation with the reductions made. However, where appropriate, 'regular prices', i.e., prices before the reduction, are also recorded for special needs.

Treatment of seasonal items
Product specifications are mostly wide enough to encompass variants of all seasons. For instance, the subcategory 'Apples' (in 01.1.6) includes both Swedish-grown and imported apples and is thus not empty in any season. Only a few sub-categories in footwear (03.2) and sport equipment (09.3.2) are defined as 'winter goods', and for these, prices are imputed by carrying them forward from May to September.

18.6. Adjustment

Adjustment for quality differences
Quality adjustment is applied only to a specified set of products where quality changes are considered potentially important.
Approach used for most kinds of quality-adjusted products (notably in parts of 05, 09, 12)
The judgment of price collectors is used for most kinds of quality-adjusted products. The price collector indicates the judged value in SEK of the quality difference between the replaced and the replacing model.
The judgments are 'supported' by instruction on quality valuation in the price collectors' training and manuals.

  • Approach used for changes in package size

For changes in package size, the price is adjusted in proportion to the size change, where applicable.

  • Approach used for clothing (garments) and footwear (03.1.2; 03.2)

Hedonic regression, adjusting for major product features, is used. Furthermore, an adjustment factor accounts for different obsolescence in the annual chaining.

  • Approach used for rental housing (04.1)

Judgemental quality adjustment is used for rented dwellings.

  • Approach used for cars (07.1.1)

New cars: Option pricing is used, from year 2007 in the usual form of adjusting for added or deleted features by 50 percent of their market prices as separate options. Changes in engine power and changes in fuel economy are included as features to adjust for. Used cars: A simple hedonic regression model, adjusting for mileage, is used in combination with a successive re-weighting of vintages to adjust for age.

  • Approach used for computers and computer accessories (09.1.3)

Monthly chaining is used.

  • Approach used for music recordings, video recordings, cinemas and books (parts of COICOP 09.1.4, 09.4.2, 09.5.1)

A bestseller list approach is used, cf. 'Techniques of products selection' above.

19. Comment Top

No information.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top