Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS)

Time Dimension: 2020-A0

Data Provider: HR1

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

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS)

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Price Statistics and European Comparison Programme Department

www.dzs.hr

 

1.5. Contact mail address

Ilica 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 25/05/2020
2.2. Metadata last posted 25/05/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 25/05/2020


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

not available

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 economic territory of Croata is the same as the geographic territory. The HICP refers to the whole economic territoy of Croatia consistent with NA (ESA 2010). No parts of the economic territory of Croatia are excluded from the index.

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

2015=100


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.

Regulations:

  • 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

None.


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.

Under the Official Statistics Act (Official Gazette, No. 103/03, 75/09 and 59/12, 12/13), the CBS can not publish, or otherwise make available to any individual or organization, statistics that would enable the identification of data for any individual person or legal entity. Individual data are strictly confidential and must not be published or reported.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

According to policy rules (see point 7.1).


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

A release schedule for the upcoming year, specifying dates of release is published each December in the CBS Publishing Program. The exact dates of release are pre-announced in the Calendar of Statistical Data Issues.

The Calendar is publicly available.

8.2. Release calendar access

Publishing Program and Calendar of Statistical Data Issues are available on the CBS website http://www.dzs.hr.

8.3. Release policy - user access

The release calendar is publically available on the CSB website. The HICP is released simultaneously to all users at the same time (11:00 CET) by publishing the press release on the CBS website (First Release: Consumer Price Indices).

No special users are granted special or pre-acess to data.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Monthly


10. Accessibility and clarity Top

The main dissemination channel for HICP is the CBS website (http://www.dzs.hr). Apart from the website, the HICP is released in printed format as well. Flash estimate is not produced.

Index levels are disseminated with two decimal places and rates of change with one decimal place.

All publications are available in both Croatian and English.

10.1. Dissemination format - News release

The HICP is published  together with the CPI in the form of the "First release - Consumer price indices".

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Except from the First release - Consumer price indices, HICP is included in the following national publications: Monthly Statistical Report and Annual Statistical Report (available on the CBS website).

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Eurostat: HICP database.

 

CBS website: https://www.dzs.hr/Eng/system/stat_databases.htm

 

 

 

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Detailed HICP data is available on users’ request through User Communication Department. The CBS, upon a written request, allow scientists and scientific organisations that conduct statistical analyses for scientific purposes access to micro data that provide only an indirect identification of the statistical units. The request shall state the purpose in using the statistical data. A special contract shall be signed for the use of the statistical data, according to which the user shall be held materially and criminally liable whereby statistical data only are to be used for the purpose stated in the request, shall not allow such data for viewing by unauthorised persons, and shall destroy such data after its use.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

See also CBS section Released data.

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

Short description of methodology is published in every issue of the 'First release: Consumer Price Indices'. Written instructions like manuals and process documentation are available in Croatian.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Compliance monitoring Information notes are available in the Eurostat's HICP site, under 'Methodology' => Compliance monitoring.


11. Quality management Top

The CBS, in all working phases - from the collection, processing, production to the dissemination of statistics, takes care about the quality of statistical processes, the final results or products and the level of services provided to its users. Following the example of the European Statistical System, the CBS has developed a model of the Total Quality Management based on the Code of Practice of European Statistics.
The CBS has currently developed a standard template based on the ESMS and ESQRS structures. In order to produce a comprehensive quality report in a way that all quality indicators are taken into account, the CBS has prepared a Handbook for Calculating Key Quality Indicators.

https://www.dzs.hr/Eng/international/code_of_practice_en.pdf

11.1. Quality assurance

11.1.1. Quality management - Compliance Monitoring

Compliance Monitoring

11.1.2. Quality assurance - national specifics

The policy of the CBS is to continuously monitor and improve all statistical processes and products. CBS takes care not only about providers of statistical data but of users also. The European Statistical Code of Practice in combination with the Total Quality Management are the main tools for quality developments and monitoring. Beside that CBS has developed DBQI – Database of quality information which contains both quality concepts prescribed by Eurostat i.e. ESMS and ESQRS. The DBQI is a central place for storing direct information on quality estimation and reference metadata. From this central place can be generated following information:

•              Quality reports for Internet purposes - bilingual

•              Quality reports for Eurostat – ESMS or ESQRS structure for different statistical domains in xml formats

•              Quality reports using several surveys of the same domain

•              Analysis within the same statistical survey through different period of time

•              Analysis between different statistical surveys

Our plan is to develop further DBQI in a way that quality indicators will be calculated automatically and to add SIMS concept which is producer and user oriented.

link: https://www.dzs.hr/Eng/international/Quality_Report/

 

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 methodological requiremetns and standards have been followed. Also, accuracy, timeliness and punctuality, accessibility and clarity, comparability, coherence, and costs and burdens are controled on regurarly basis.


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

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

 

While the national CPI is preferred at national level, the HICP is mostly used for cross-country comparison of inflation between EU countries.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Except for the Feedback Questionnaire, in April 2015 (in a period from April 13th to April 26th) the CBS conducted the user satisfaction survey for the second time (the first was conducted during 2013 combining web based and telephone interviewing). The aim of the research was to establish user satisfaction with data quality and services as well as user needs. The sample was composed of users who requested statistical data from the beginning of the 2013 until the March 2015. The Questionnaire (prepared in Croatian and English) with 28 questions was sent out to 2765 e-mail addresses through the Survey Monkey. Questionnaire link was also placed on the CBS website, CBS Twitter profile and CBS Official Facebook page. The total of 952 questionnaires was filled out. The starting point of creating a model for measuring customer satisfaction was the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The variables that affect the total satisfaction of the CBS are part of the following criteria (grades 1 to 5): satisfaction with the CBS employees (the average grade is 4.34), satisfaction with data (the average grade is 3.56), satisfaction with the website (the average grade is 3.16), satisfaction with the CBS in general (the average score was 3.8) and trust – CBS has reliable data (the average score is 3.96).

link: User satisfaction survey 2015

According to the present Official Statistical Act, the Statistics Council of the Republic of Croatia has been formed within the CBS. The Council is an advisory and professional body for strategic issues concerning official statistics, and it has been established with the aim of ensuring the influence of users, science and the public on the Programme.

The Council consists of 13 members and the Director of the CBS is a member of the Council. The other members of the Council are the representatives of: the Croatian National Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Croatian Parliament (Sabor), state administration bodies, the body of local and regional self-government units, the Croatian Chamber of Economy, scientific-professional institutions, the Employers’ Association, trade unions, NGOs, the media.

Members of the Council have been nominated by the institutions and bodies referred to in Article 18 paragraph 3 of the present Act, and are appointed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia. The Council has a President elected by the members of the Council from among themselves. The members of the Council are appointed for a period of 5 years, with the possibility of being reappointed.

12.3. Completeness

All ECOICOP categories accounting at least one part in a thousand of the total expenditure are calculated and transmitted to Eurostat.
 


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 main data source for weights is National accounts data at higher levels and HBS on lower levels of aggregation. Local price collection (visit to local retailers and service providers) and central price collection (telephone, e-mail, Internet) are the data sources for prices. 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 they are based usually on three main criteria: popularity with customers, significant turnover from consumer sale and availability of goods and services included in the HICP basket. All private households in the economic territory of the country are covered, whether resident or not and irrespective of their income. There isn't any systematic errors and any revision of the data.

13.2. Sampling error

The CBS 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 use of non-probability sampling. The CBS tries to reduce the sampling errors by using a sample of consumer prices that is as large as possible given resource constrains. In order to minimize the variance of all-items index the number of prices that should be observed in each geographical location for each item category is selected.

13.3. Non-sampling error

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


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 was introduced in 2007 and  the main rescaling has been from 2005=100 to 2015=100 (since January 2016).

The HICP data is 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 backward 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
Different population coverage:
The HICP covers the consumption expenditure of non-residents and institutional households within the economic territory of the country, while they are not included in the national CPI.

Different data sources for the calculation of weights:
The main data source for the HICP weights is the National Accounts data, while the main data source for the CPI weights is the Household Budget Survey.

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

 According to revision policy of the CBS, the CPI/HICP data is published as final and is not subject to revision (unless an error or mistake is found), a fact which is noted in the publications.

17.2. Data revision - practice

No cases of mistakes in the compilation of the total HICP that would require HICP revisions have arisen so far. Still, the change of reference year caused revisions to a number of previously published inflation rates because of rounding effects. Thus, inflation rates calculated from the 2015=100 series can differ from the rates calculated from the 2005=100 series.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

18.1.1. Weights

The main data source for the calculation of the HICP weight structure are data derived from the National Accounts from which the weights for the indices at the 5-digit level are derived. Since the National Accounts data does not provide sufficient details on weights at lower levels, at the level below ECOIOCOP the HBS data is used.  Additional data sources for year t-1 or t-2 are used for construction of the weights for electricity, telecommunication services, insurance, cars, rents, accommodation services, transportation, education, tobacco, fuels, medicines etc. 

Weights are updated annually. The update of weights is done with the revision of the HICP basket of goods and services.

At the time of the calculation of the new weights for the HICP, no final data from National Accounts for the year t-1 is available and therefore weights at the highest level of the index refer to the year t-2. HICP weights are price-updated to December prices.

Regarding the quality of the weights, there are expenditures that are under-recorded (for example expenditures on alcohol and tobacco). In such cases, additional adjustments are made in line with available administrative data.

18.1.1.1. Compilation at elementary aggregate level

The elementary aggregate is the lowest level of aggregation for which the weights are available (6th or 7th  digit level). For product-offers within elementary aggregate, there are no weights available. The weighting structure follow the aggregation structure of the HICP (based on ECOICOP) and additional sub-divisions are introduced by stratification of the sample in order to obtain more detailed product level classification.

 

Below the ECOICOP category level for construction of the weights on the 6 and 7 digit level last available HBS data are used as a main source. Additional data sources for year t-1 or t-2 are used for construction of the weights for electricity (the Croatian Energy Regulatory Agency), telecommunication services (the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries), insurance (the Financial Agency, the Croatian Insurance Bureau), cars (the Ministry of Interior), profit rents (Census 2011), accommodation services (tourism statistics), transportation (transport statistics), education (the Ministry of science, education and sports as well as the education statistics), tobacco, fuels, medicines etc. 

 

 Except for weights for elementary aggregates on the level of Croatia, there are regional weights as well (nine geographical locations included in the sample). Regional weights are defined at the elementary aggregate level – each geographical location in the sample has a pre-assigned weight (total sum of regional weights for each elementary aggregate is 1000). Elementary aggregates are weighted together by regional weights in order to obtain national elementary aggregates. These index numbers are then aggregated to the CPI/HICP.

 

At elementary aggregate level, weights are reviewed and price-updated on annually basis.

 

 

The HBS data on the level of regions is the base for calculation the weights on the region level.  As the prices for the CPI/HICP are collected in nine cities (geographical locations) this weights are allocated to the cities. In case where in a particular region only one city is included in the sample the weight of the region remains. On the other hand, where in a particular region, more cities are in the sample then regional weight is divided into cities according to the number of the population of these cities in the region (main source is the Census).

 

Weights on the level of nine cities are calculated for elementary aggregates for which prices are collected locally while for centrally collected prices there are no such weights (elementary aggregate indices are directly aggregated on the level of the Republic of Croatia).

 

No outlet weights are used. There are no weights associated with single price observations for product-offers.

18.1.1.2. Compilation of sub-index weights.

At sub-index level weights are derived from National Accounts based on t-2. The main table used for calculation of the sub-index weights is Table 24 (presents expenditure approach of the GDP explained in Chapter 5 of the GNI Inventory). For lower levels, the Household Budget Survey data is used.

18.1.1.3. Reference period higher levels

For the calculation of the weights of sub-indices (ECOICOP sub-classes and higher) the reference period t-2 National Accounts data is used.

18.1.1.4. Weights - plausibility checking

As regards weights, the plausibiltiy is checked in a way that significant differences from the previous year are deteced and cross-checked. Also, various additional data sources for weights are used and compared (where possible). Finaly, the aditivity of the weights is checked as well that total weight is 1000.

18.1.2. Prices

The price data is based on a survey, on administrative data sources and on data from other statistical activities.

18.1.2.1. Data Source - overview  

Data source information – see excel file:HR HICP_Inventory_detail-HICP 2020

18.1.2.2. Scanner data - general information

Scanner data are not used in the regular production of the CPI/HICP. The CBS participates in the Eurostat Grant Agreement on scanner data with the general goal to undertake research on the exploitation of scanner data as new source of price information which would improve current methods. Analysis have been done in the field of food and non-alcoholic beverages and so far data from two retail chains have been obtained.

18.1.2.3. Bulk web scraping - general information

The CBS participates in the Eurostat Grant Agreement on web scraping with the general goal to undertake research on the exploitation of web scraping as new source of price information replacing manually collected price quotes in outlets, which would improve current methods.

18.1.3. Sampling design and procedure

18.1.3.1. Sampling design: regions - general information

As the reference population included in the Croatian HICP refers to the whole population of the country the HICP refers to the whole territory of the Republic of Croatia.  The geographical sample design is based on the results from the Household Budget Survey and the population Census. The choice of geographical locations is based on the Household Budget Survey disaggregated by statistical regions, according to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), which was in the introductory phase at the time our CPI/HICP methodology was being developed.

 

 

18.1.3.2. Sampling design: outlets - general information

As there is no relevant data that would allow the application of outlet sample design based on one particular sampling method, judgemental sampling is applied (non-probability sampling method). The number of outlets that should enter the sample are determined by central office. The number of outlets for each representative product in each geographical location is pre-determined by the criteria of the population number for each geographical location (city) in the sample and regional weights - HBS data on the level of regions allocated to the cities. If only one city is included in the sample of a particular region, the weight of the region remains, and where more cities are in the sample of a particular region, the regional weight is divided into cities according to the number of the population of these cities in the region (main source is the Census). 

In total, 15 outlets are selected for one geographical location, Zagreb (leading to 15 price quotes for each representative product), 8 outlets for three geographical locations (leading to 8 price quotes for each representative product), 6 outlets for two geographical locations (leading to 6 price quotes for each representative product) and 4 outlets for two geographical locations (leading to 4 price quotes for each representative product).

Different types of outlets are included in the sample:

  • specialised stores with food
  • non-specialised stores selling food, beverages and tobacco (minimarket, supermarket, hypermarket)
  • petrol stations
  • specialised non-food stores
  • kiosks
  • market stalls

18.1.3.3. Sampling design: products - newly significant goods and services

Introducing newly significant products is connected with re-sampling and in order to maintain the representativity of the reference sample and to represent current market and consumption pattern. Introducing newly significant products relates to the replacement of the goods and services from the basket which disappeared from the market with the ones which entered the market or to introducing completely new goods and services as such.

New products on the market are identified mainly through the Household Budget Survey but also through other sources such as press (newspapers, magazine), producer information, PPP product list, market research, price collectors’ suggestions and other sources. Price collectors are instructed to monitor development in the market to identify new good and services and report these changes and tendencies for future changes to the central offices.

For the newly introduced products, price collectors have to record prices for January of the current year and for December of the previous year (base period for prices in the current year).

The procedure of reviewing the product sample includes involvement of central staff and price collectors. While central staff is in charge for defining initial sample framework from the HBS results and additional alternative data source, price collectors provide the CBS with relevant information based on their experience and give the proposals regarding inclusion of new representative items or exclusion of existing ones as well as proposals on the changes of the existing product descriptions. Those proposals are sent each year, usually in October to central office where they are analysed.

Reference product-offers are selected by price collectors and they are updated monthly. Price collectors are instructed to select product-offers that are most sold in the outlet in accordance with pre-defined product description for the representative item. Selected product-offers are then checked and verified during the validation procedure in central office.

New representative goods and services introduced in CPI/HICP basket for 2020 are: cheese, hard, natural (cow or mixed) and passata.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Price data is collected every month.

18.3. Data collection

18.3.1. Price collection surveys

 

Price collectors collect prices by tablet computers  (responsible for entering data on prices and additional explanations related to the products, verification the data and transmission the data to the central office).  Quality adjustment procedures are performed in the CBS by the central staff. At regional level, price collectors make no quality adjustments. They are instructed to report to central office all cases of considerable quality changes due to product replacement. Meetings with price collectors are organized on regular basis while trainings for new price collectors are organised as required.

Central price collection is carried out by Price Statistics Department and it is applied in the following cases: when the retailer selected in the sample has only one retail outlet, when the headquarters of the retailer are able to provide data relating to their retail outlets and they charge uniform prices over the whole country. Besides, central price collection is selected when there are no significant regional differences in consumption, when specialized product knowledge is required, when market research data are available to the Price Statistics Department and if elementary aggregate is homogeneous enough that further disaggregation is not required (e.g. fuel prices).

Prices collected by central staff from a single source (retailer’s head office) represent product prices in all outlets of the same retailer. However, prices collected from a single source are not treated as one observation in the sample but as the number of observations which is equal to the number of outlets whose range of products includes the sampled product. Centrally collected data are recorded in writing, by telephone, Internet, telefax or electronically (completed tables pre-defined by CBS for each data provider are sent back to the CBS electronically).

 

18.3.2. Timing of price collection

Price collection has been carried out between 1st and 25th of the reference month.

 

Prices for the majority of goods and services are collected once a month, on working days (prices are not collected during weekends and public holidays) on approximately same days of the month.

 

Apart from the need to collect prices for the same product offer from month to month, in order to ensure that the index relates to the price change over the month, it is essential that the price collection takes place at the same day of the month as well as that prices for fresh food at the market stalls are collected at about the same time of the day.

 

18.4. Data validation

Data validation is carried at different levels of organisation. First validation is done by price collectors on the local level in the special software system used for this purpose. Price collectors verify all price changes and provide additional explanations for unusual price changes (both prices and codes are validated). Second validation is carried out by central staff after data is received using the special data control program which performs several logical and arithmetical validation options in order to identify unusual price movements (except for percentage change for each product-offer comparing to the previous month, the tool indicates whether there is any change comparing to the previous period in quantity, code or product description) as well as the missing prices and replacement products. The prices are validated for each geographical location separately and for each item and outlet. There is no automatic rejection and when further explanations are necessary or when errors have been detected, central staff then requires from price collectors to provide additional information or to visit outlet again. After the validation of prices is completed, software produces price indices by comparing prices to the previous month showing the price movements on the level of individual representative items in the analysed geographical location or on the level of the whole country as well as the average prices for the individual representative items.

18.4.1. Data validation - price data

First validation is done by price collectors. One of the main functionalities of the tablet software is option that any price, quantity or product description cannot be stored without appropriate code of change (price increase, price decrease,  replacement product-offer, price after reduction, product-offer not found in the outlet, change in quantity, additional explanations). Besides, the software validates data entered with arithmetic operations by giving warnings about allowed price oscillation and code type input (additional confirmation is required). In the main price recording form the price collector can easily fill in the form with important information about the selected product. Also, there is a review of historical data (one year period) of selected product from previous months/periods.

Second validation is carried out by central staff after importing prices into the central computer system. Prices are checked and validated comparing to the previous month for each geographical location separately and for each item and outlet by four employees. The person in charge for each geographical location has to check the whole list thoroughly. For the purpose of this price validation a special data control program has been developed which performs several logical and arithmetical validation options in order to identify unusual price movements (except for percentage change for each product-offer comparing the previous month, the tool indicate whether there is any change comparing to the previous period in quantity, code or product description) as well as the missing prices and replacement products.  The tool enables each product-offer to show its price movements in the previous 12-month as well as the prices for the same product in other outlets or in other geographical locations.  Prices that remain stable for a long period are checked as well. After the validation of prices is completed, software produces price indices comparing to the previous month showing the price movements on the level of individual representative items in the analysed geographical location or on the level of the whole country as well as the average prices for the individual representative items.

For analytical purposes, verification tool also enables the export of different kind of summarised tables in Excel, depending on the purpose of analysis (i.e. separate tables with missing prices, tables showing only product with difference in prices or quantities, codes, product-offer descriptions, seasonal products, replacement products, comments or table containing all joined table containing all this information together).

18.5. Data compilation

18.5.1. Index formulae

The Croatian HICP is Laspeyres chain index, covering the categories of the ECOICOP/HICP (European Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose).

The price indices for elementary aggregates are calculated as a ratio of geometric mean prices.

 

Regarding the number of decimals, the following rules are applied:

• For price observations two decimals

• For weights two decimals (compilation and transmission)

• For compilation and transmission of HICP unrounded indices are used (13 decimal places)

• for publication of HICP index figures are published to two decimals and rates of change to one decimal place

From above listed cases rounding has been used for the purpose of publication of HICP index figures

18.5.2. Aggregation method

Elementary aggregate indices have been computed as a ratio of the current and the price reference period geometric mean (Jevons) of all prices of the products within an elementary aggregate.

Elementary aggregates indices are indices on the lowest level where only product-offers prices are used for calculation.

Elementary aggregates are compiled as ratio of the geometric mean of prices for each region (for example Rice in Zagreb, Rice in Dubrovnik, Rice in Split etc. ). It means that prices for product offers within elementary aggregate in the current month are compared to the prices of the base period (December of the previous year).

Calculated elementary indices on regional level are then weighted together using regional weights in order to obtain elementary aggregate at national level. Regional weights are actually weights for each of 9 cities in which prices are collected and total sum for Croatia is 1000.

Elementary aggregate indices at national level are aggregated to higher index level using the Laspeyres’ type formula.

18.5.3. Chaining and linking method

The HICP is compiled by using December of the previous year as the linking month.

 

The aggregated indices (overall HICP and ECOICOPs) are first calculated with December of the previous year =100 as a base and then linked to the 2015=100 (average of the year 2015) by using the indices for December of the previous year based on 2015 average.

18.5.4. Quality adjustment

Product-offers are usually quality adjusted in cases when a quality change occurs and it is judged that there is a significant difference between the replaced and the replacement product-offer.

 

In order to deal with quality changes, a case by case approach is adopted. There are no automatic procedures for any product group. The choice of method depends on the specific replacement situation and selected replacement product-offer. At present, hedonic method is not used.

 

 

There are three main types of quality adjustment procedure used in the Croatian CPI/HICP: direct comparison (no quality change occurred and no adjustment is made), explicit or direct methods (“component wise-methods”) and implicit or indirect methods (“holistic methods”).

 

The following implicit methods that are used in both CPI/HICP are: overlap method (when prices of replaced and replacement product-offers are available – so far applied only in few cases), bridged overlap (average price development of other available product-offers it the same elementary aggregate are used as a bridge for estimation for the price change) and retrapolation (only in cases when replacements are infrequent and in effect random).

 

Explicit methods for quality adjustment that have been applied in the Croatian CPI/HICP are: package size adjustment (value of a change in package size is assessed as the relative change in package size), option pricing (when the price of the product-offer options are available), judgmental and supported judgmental quality adjustment (when additional information is available and assessed by judgement or by specialist).

 

For the most product-offers implicit quality adjustments are applied due to the fact that in the practice is often not possible to obtain enough information about characteristics of the product-offers in order to evaluate a proper quality change.

 

The incidence of quality changes and adjustments are monitored on regular basis. All quality changes and replacements are coded in the IT application and quality adjustment methods performed are coded as well.

 

General quality control rules are set and all available methods are rated as A, B or C methods (A and B methods are treated as appropriate quality adjustment methods while C methods are all other methods which in principle are not to be used).

 

Direct price comparison:

food and beverages, clothing and footwear, (minor changes), used cars (minor changes), household appliances (minor changes, method A), PC games (method B), books – rapidly changing market (method B), books – long selling market (method A), CD/DVD educational – long selling market (method A), CD/DVD educational - rapidly changing market (method B), software (method A for applications, method B for games)

 

Implicit methods:

1. Bridged Overlap method is used for clothing and footwear (non-automatically bridged overlap for major changes), household appliances (major changes, method B), new cars (major

     changes, method B), used cars (major changes, method B), TV-sets (minor changes, method A, major changes method B), notebooks (method B), audio, video and photo equipment.

2. Retrapolation is limited used only for all other non-food product-offers (in cases where replacements are infrequent in effect random)

 

Explicit methods:

1. Option pricing is used for household appliances (major changes, method A), new cars (minor changes, method B), desktop computers (method B), telephone and telefax equipment,

     audio, video and photo equipment.

2. Judgemental and supported expert judgement is used for: new cars (minor changes, method B), used cars (minor changes) telephone and telefax equipment

3. Package size adjustment is mostly used for food and beverages (major changes), non-durable household goods

18.5.5. Seasonal items - general information

The CBS started with implementation of Commission Regulation (EC) No 330/2009 on minimum standards for the treatment of seasonal items at the beginning of 2012 with January 2012 index which resulted with the changes in the existing index compilation procedure.

 Minimum standards are applied to seasonal products within the following COICOP classes and groups:

 

01.1.6    Fruit (4 EAs out of 11 EAs)

01.1.7    Vegetables (1 EAs out of 13 EAs)

03.1       Clothing (6 EAs out of 28 EAs)

03.2       Footwear (2 out of 7 EAs)

05.2       Household textiles (1 out of 4 EAs - sunshade)

09.4       Recreational and cultural services (1 EA out of 11 EAs)

09.6       Package holidays

11.2.0.  Accommodation services (1 EA out of 7 EAs – accommodation in camps)

 

Fish is not considered as seasonal.

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.


19. Comment Top

None.


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