Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistics Estonia

Time Dimension: 2020-A0

Data Provider: EE1

Data Flow: HICP_NES_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 Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Economic and Environmental Statistics Department

1.5. Contact mail address

51 Tatari Street
10134 Tallinn


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 31/03/2020
2.2. Metadata last posted 31/03/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 31/03/2020

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) is a consumer price index (CPI) that is calculated according to a common approach. It measures the change over time of the prices of consumer goods and services acquired by households. Because of the common methodology, the HICPs of the countries and European aggregates can be directly compared.

3.2. Classification system

European classification of individual consumption according to purpose (ECOICOP)

3.3. Coverage - sector

The HICP covers the final monetary consumption expenditure of the household sector.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The main statistical variables are price indices.

3.5. Statistical unit

The basic unit of statistical observation are prices for consumer products.

3.6. Statistical population

3.6.1. Statistical target population

The target statistical universe is the 'household final monetary consumption expenditure' (HFMCE) on the economic territory of the country by both resident and non-resident households... 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.

3.6.2. Coverage error population

Population coverage: excluding individuals residing in special institutions.

3.7. Reference area

3.7.1. Geographical coverage

The HICP refers to the economic territory of a Member State as defined by ESA2010.

3.7.2. Coverage error regions

The HICP refers to the whole economic territory of Estonia.

3.8. Coverage - Time

3.8.1. Start of time series

In accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 1687/98, each Member State is required to produce a harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) starting in January 1997.

3.8.2. Start of time series - national specifics

See the HICP database


3.9. Base period


4. Unit of measure Top

The following units are used:

  • Index point
  • 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

HICP is a monthly statistics.

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 HICP, the MUICP and the EICP.
The Commission has brought forward detailed Regulations establishing the specific rules governing the production of harmonised indices.


  • Initial implementing measures (1749/1996)
  • Sub-indices (2214/1996)
  • Weights (2454/1997)-repealed
  • Coverage of goods and services (1687/1998)
  • Geographic and population coverage (1688/1998)
  • Treatment of tariffs (2646/1998)
  • Treatment of insurance (1617/1999)
  • Revised sub-indices (1749/1999)
  • Treatment of products in the health, education and social protection sectors (2166/1999)
  • Timing of entering purchaser prices (2601/2000)
  • Treatment of price reductions (2602/2000)
  • Treatment of service charges (1920/2001)
  • Minimum standards for revisions (1921/2001)
  • Common index reference period (1708/2005)
  • Temporal coverage of price collection (701/2006)
  • Sampling (1334/2007)
  • Seasonal products (330/2009)
  • Weights (1114/2010)
  • Owner-occupied housing (93/2013)
  • Common index reference period (2015/2010)


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 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 34, § 35 and § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

8. Release policy Top

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see point 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.

8.1. Release calendar

Statistics Estonia: the release calendar is publically available and published in the beginning of October for the full following year. Eurostat publishes the release schedule each year around mid-November for the full following year.

8.2. Release calendar access

Statistics Estonia website: https://www.stat.ee/en/calendar


Eurostat website: HICP Release schedule.

8.3. Release policy - user access

Statistics Estonia: release date at 8 a.m. (7 a.m. CET) for all users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top

HICP is disseminated first on SE database. In the case of flash estimate only total index is published.

HICPs index levels are disseminated with two decimals. Dissemination languages are Estonian and English.


10.1. Dissemination format - News release

By Eurostat.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

By Eurostat.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

HICPs are published on the database of Statistics Estonia and by Eurostat.



10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access
Restricted from publication
10.5. Dissemination format - other

See also the HICP dedicated section on Eurostat's website.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The HICP Methodological Manual provides the reference methodology for the production of HICP. (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-manuals-and-guidelines/-/KS-GQ-17-015)

10.6.1. Documentation on methodology - national specifics







10.7. Quality management - documentation

See Eurostat's Compliance Monitoring Reports of 2006, 2010 and 2020. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/272892/272977/HICP-Compliance-Monitoring-Report-Estonia-2020/

11. Quality management Top

EFQM quality management system used in SE.


11.1. Quality assurance

11.1.1. Quality management - Compliance Monitoring

Compliance Monitoring

11.1.2. Quality assurance - national specifics

There are special guidelines for price collectors and also for central staff how to collect the data and how to compile the indices.  A regular pre-publication meeting is held. Questions arising on sub-indices are discussed and, where necessary, clarified by the staff.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

11.2.1. Compliance monitoring - last report and main results

Compliance Monitoring

11.2.2. Quality assessment - national specifics

HICP indices are produced in compliance with HICP methodological requirements

and standards. A national quality assessment of the HICP/CPI has not been made.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

In addition to being a general measure of inflation, the HICP is also used in the areas of:

  • wages, social benefit and contract indexation;
  • economic forecasting and analysis;
  • measuring specific price trends;
  • accounting purposes and deflating other series;
  • inflation targeting by central banks;
  • cross-country economic comparisons.


The euro area (evolving composition) index is used by the European Central Bank (ECB) as the main indicator for monetary policy management. The ECB and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) use the HICP for assessing price stability and price convergence required for entry into European Monetary Union.

Other users include: National Central Banks, financial institutions, economic analysts, the media and the public at large.

12.1.1. User Needs - national specifics

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No special user satisfaction survey for HICP.

12.3. Completeness

All required ECOICOP indices at 5-digit level are produced from January 2016 indices.

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 the adherence to the methodological recommendations. The accuracy of HICP is generally considered to be high.

13.2. Sampling error

Statistics Estonia does not produce numerical estimates of HICP sampling errors because they are difficult to quantify due to the complexity of price index structures and due to the common use of non-probability sampling. Consequently, no estimate for a global HICP sampling error could be produced.

13.3. Non-sampling error

For the HICPs non-sampling errors are not quantified.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The full set of HICPs is published each month according to a pre-announced schedule, usually between 15 and 18 days after the end of the reference month. Each year, the January news release is published at the end of February to allow for the annual update of the weights of individual product groups and the relative country weights of Members States in the country-group aggregates.

The euro area flash estimate is published on the last working day of the reference month or shortly after that.

14.2. Punctuality

Since the March 1997, launch of the HICP release, the HICP for the country groups aggregates has always been published on the pre-announced release dates.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

HICPs across Member States are comparable. Any differences at all levels of detail should only reflect differences in price changes or expenditure patterns.

To this end, definitions and classifications have been harmonised in a series of legal acts. The HICP is produced according to these minimum standards that may be applied with some flexibility as long as they result in an index that is estimated to differ systematically by less than or equal to 0.1 percentage points on average over one year against the previous year from an index compiled following the minimum standards (Article 4 of Council and Parliament Regulation (EU) 2016/792).

15.2. Comparability - over time

HICP data 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. 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

Domestic approach is used for HICP. National approach is used for CPI. There are no consumption expenditures which are included in the HICP but excluded from CPI. Some elements of games of chance (lotteries) are included in the CPI but excluded from HICP. HICP weights are price updated to December, but CPI weights are not price updated.

15.4. Coherence - internal

The HICPs are internally 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

The HICP series, including back data, is revisable at any point in time under the terms set in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1921/2001 of 28 September 2001. The published HICP data may be revised for corrections, and new or improved information.

17.1.1. Data revision - policy - national specifics

The Estonian CPI is published as ‘final’ and is not subject to revision.

17.2. Data revision - practice

HICP may be revised in accordance with Regulation 1921/2001. There have been no principal revisions since the introduction of this Regulation. The change of reference year caused revisions to some previously published inflation rates because of rounding effects.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

18.1.1. Weights

Restricted from publication Compilation at elementary aggregate level

Restricted from publication Compilation of sub-index weights.

Restricted from publication Reference period higher levels

Restricted from publication Weights - plausibility checking

Restricted from publication

18.1.2. Prices Data Source - overview  

Restricted from publication Scanner data - general information

Scanner data currently are not used for price collection. Bulk web scraping - general information

Restricted from publication

18.1.3. Sampling design and procedure Sampling design: regions - general information Sampling design: outlets - general information

The part of different shop chains on the market is very high in Estonia. The weight of different chains is followed by staff and if needed the corrections are made.

The outlet sample is further augmented and updated by price collectors’ experience and knowledge of the local market. There are not any categories of outlets excluded. Sampling design: products - newly significant goods and services

For identifying new goods and services any available market information is collected by staff of SE in spite of the origin of information (price collectors, periodicals, questions from consumers etc.). List of items is reviewed once a year and, in general, new products added from the index of the next January. Dual price collection for new goods and services is carried out at least for two months in the end of the year.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Price data is collected every month.

18.3. Data collection

18.3.1. Price collection surveys

Price collectors work in 9 counties out of 15. Central price collection has been introduced for some items. All prices are collected monthly.

18.3.2. Timing of price collection

The observation period is the week including the 15th day of the month.

18.4. Data validation

All price changes are checked item by item. A regular pre-publication meeting is held. Questions arising on sub-indices are discussed and, where necessary, clarified by the staff.

18.4.1. Data validation - price data

First steps of data validation are carried out at the time the data are entered into tablet by price collectors. Several arithmetical validation rules allow to avoid data entry errors.

The price entered is compared with the price for the same product, in the same shop, in the previous month.

CPI staff compare collected prices with the previous month prices. Min and max prices are determined. In case of extreme prices or price changes CPI staff try to find out the reason. If a price is erroneous, it is rejected and price is corrected.

18.5. Data compilation

18.5.1. Index formulae

 Our HICP is a Laspeyres-type index.  Ratio of arithmetic mean prices is used for computation of lowest level indices. Choice of the formula is historical.

     The number of decimals that we apply for:

  • Price observations - two decimals for product-offer.
  • Weights - unrounded.
  • The compilation and transmission of index figures and rates of change - unrounded.
  • For publication of index figures and rates of change - two decimals for indices and one decimal for rate of change.


18.5.2. Aggregation method

Restricted from publication

18.5.3. Chaining and linking method

Indices are calculated using base prices of last December. Then all aggregation is calculated on the base December (t-1)=100.  At aggregated level annual chain-link method is applied where December (t-1) is a linking month.


18.5.4. Quality adjustment

Restricted from publication

18.5.5. Seasonal items - general information

Restricted from publication
18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.

19. Comment Top

No comments.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top