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: 2020-A0

Data Provider: SE1

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

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
104 51 STOCKHOLM
SWEDEN


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 30/09/2020
2.2. Metadata last posted 30/09/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 30/09/2020


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

No deviations.

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 target is to cover all parts of Sweden and our samples are designed accordingly.

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

The relevant national legislation is the public access to information and secrecy act (2009:400) - this prevents disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly. An exception is if there exist a valid purpose (such as for research) and that the disclosure do not cause damage to an individual or company.

Prices, weights and item descriptions are considered confidential if they reveal a company, person, brand, product name, price or turnover etc. Therefore microdata within most elementary aggregates are confidential. Price data from the government sector (national or local level) is not confidential, such as the fee for water from a municipality.

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

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

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

Monthly


10. Accessibility and clarity Top

HICP and HICP-CT are published on Statistics Sweden's webpage:

  • Time series for HICP total, Index 2015=100, with two decimals
  • Time series for HICP-CT total, Index 2015=100, with two decimals
  • Time series for HICP total, monthly rate of change (m/m-1), one decimal
  • Time series for HICP total, annual rate of change (m/m-12), one decimal
  • Time series for HICP-CT total,  monthly rate of change (m/m-1), one decimal
  • Time series for HICP-CT total, annual rate of change (m/m-12), one decimal

We publish the most recent figures in our press relaese for CPI and the longer time series in the statistical database (SSD).

No data for sub-indices of HICP/HICP-CT are published at Statistics Swedens web page.

Statistics Sweden do not produce or publish flash estimates of the HICP.

Statistics Sweden do not have any methodology document in english especially for the HICP. In the english version quality declaration for CPI, there is some information also about HICP:

https://www.scb.se/contentassets/a1e257bb3a574420b9d3f2ff59851c0a/pr0101_kd_2019_bs_190619_en.pdf

 

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 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

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

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not available.


11. Quality management Top

Statistics Sweden is certified according to ISO 20252:2012 for market, opinion and social research. The certification confirms that Statistics Sweden fullfills the quality requirements for statistical production. The standard covers areas such as data collection, data management and processing as well as reporting.

European statistics code of practice:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/4031688/8971242/KS-02-18-142-EN-N.pdf/e7f85f07-91db-4312-8118-f729c75878c7

11.1. Quality assurance

11.1.1. Quality management - Compliance Monitoring

Compliance Monitoring

11.1.2. Quality assurance - national specifics

Statistics Sweden is certified according to ISO 20252. In the practical terms for the HICP, this means:

- all activities are documented

- documents, software and data files are well-structured and in order

- checks are carried out in critical process steps, for example price collection, software coding and data transfer

- the concept of continues improvement is integrated as a routine in the daily work: internal quality revisions assures the compliance to the ISO-standard.

- user complaints are systematically taken care of, subsequently as input for developing the production process.

Further detailes of the quality assurance:

The Data collection department is responisble for data collection and initial data cleaning. The Price Statistics Unit (Economic statitics department) carries out further validation (outlier checks etc) of data.

The Price Statistics Unit employs a quality assurance system:
- A continual improvement process (reporting and acting on all incidents and errors in the production)
- Written work instructions for all stages in the production process (the aim is to keep such instructions up-to-date)
- A rigourous test model for all changes in the main production system (VB/C#.net)
- Checklists for all changes in secondary calculation systems (SAS/Excel) to ensure that all changes meet the quality standards. On the unit there is a team dedicated to the quality process that is responsible to follow-up and remind about the use of checklists.

The main production meetings during a month are:
- Macro validation meeting before finalisation of CPI/HICP. Suspicious index developments are explained.
- Follow-up meeting after the publication, to communicate any deviations, errors and incidents. This output from this meeting are action points (if needed) and a protocoll.

If a suspicious index cannot be confirmed (for example if we are unable to get confirmation from the respondent), we are making a decision whether to include the suspicous change based on the effect on total CPI and how plausible the change is.

 

11.2. Quality management - assessment

11.2.1. Compliance monitoring - last report and main results

Compliance Monitoring

11.2.2. Quality assessment - national specifics

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.

 

Statistics Sweden uses a system for managing process and product quality called ASPIRE (A  System for Product Improvement, Review, and Evaluation). The outcome of an ASPIRE evaluation are quality indicators. Several uncertainty sources are considered such as:

- Overall accuracy
- Sampling
- Frame coverage
- Measurement
- Non-response
- Data processing
- Model assumptions

Each uncertainty source is also assigned a risk rating depending upon its potential impact on the quality for the specific product. ASPIRE is an evaluation conducted by external experts.

More about ASPIRE can be found here:

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cros/system/files/NTTS2013fullPaper_56.pdf

Since HICP to a very large extent is based on CPI data, any improvements or deteriorations in the outcome for CPI will affect also HICP.

 Latest APSIRE result is from 2019, which was the 8th time the assessment was made.The overall score decreased from 64.2 to 58.0. The entire assessment methodology had been revised in round 8 compared to the previous round and new dimensions were used. This means that the total score is not really comparable to previous rounds.

The entire assessment methodology was revised compared to previous round and new dimensions are used, which means that the total score is not really comparable to previous rounds. improvements following an evaluation according to aspire will be beneficial also for HICP. The evaluation is made every second year.

Key recommendations for the coming two years:

  • CPI Weights. It is important that work on alternative sources to the Household Budget Survey should continue, and be given more emphasis. Work should be done to see how sensitive the CPI is to changes in the weights, so that it is clearer how significant this problem is. Alternative sources might include transactions data, including loyalty card data.
  • Data processing of scanner data. Data processing systems for scanner data were built at a time when this initiative was experimental. Given its rapid development to a stage where it is an important part of the CPI source data, consideration needs to be given to developing an IT processing platform more in line with office processing standards to ensure processing risks are reduced.
  • Statistical estimation from large data sets. The use of scanner data, web scraping, APIs and register data has led to the collection of large data sets of prices for items, rather than the collection of single prices by data collectors from shops. Consideration needs to be given as to how these data sets can best be distilled into price indicators, taking into account the price behaviour of consumers

Other areas for consideration:

  • CPI error study. The work on improving variance estimates should be taken forward and should then be developed to enable the development of the Total Survey Error approach, which will show where further effort on accuracy improvement should be expended.

 Apart from ASPIRE, parts of the statistical production process are also reviewed internally. These reviews are regular, but only a sample of survey/process steps are evaluated every year.


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 users of the CPI and measures related to the CPI:

• The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs: for establishing the price base amount which is linked to certain pensions, other social benefits and student loans.

• The Riksbank: the CPI as an explicit target variable and as a basis for monetary policy decisions. CPIF and other related measures as supplementary measures of inflation.

• The Ministry of Finance: as a basis for decisions on economic policy and stabilisation policy.

• Swedish National Institute of Economic Research: for economic analyses.

• The Swedish Tax Agency: for the calculation of conversion ratios for the taxation of capital gains on property and for calculating break points in income tax rates.

• Statistics Sweden: for deflating in the national accounts as well as the service industry statistics (concerning turnover and inventory).

• Other government administration: including the Swedish Board of Agriculture, which monitors and analyses consumption figures and price trends on the consumer level.

• Organisations, enterprises and individuals: for indexation of agreements and conversions of value amounts to fixed monetary values.

• Asset management enterprises and institutions: as a basis for assessing future interest rates and real returns.

National users of HICP are:

• Economic analysts in the private banks are at least to some extent using HICP data. Otherwise no principal national users of HICP are known.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Statistics Sweden has a CPI board where important main users are members. These include:

-Swedish centralbank (Riksbank)
-Swedish Social Insurance Agency
-Swedish Pensions Agency
-National Institute of Economic Research
-Ministry of Finance
-Consumer Agency

The board has an advisory role for methodologies and principles used for CPI. All decisions on implementing a methodology or principle are taken by Statistics Sweden, not the CPI board.

No general CPI user survey is carried out.

 

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).

Main sources of random and systematic error in the statistical outputs

The most important sources of inaccuracy in the HICP and CPI are the composition of the basket of goods, i.e. the weighting factors, sampling of retail outlets, products and product offers and products that are new in the market. It is believed that new products in the market are the greatest source of inaccuracy. The source of inaccuracy caused by sampling is relatively large, but it can be estimated and can therefore guide the users of the statistics. New products can be a source of bias, a systematic under- or overestimation, most likely an overestimation. Consumers choose products that are new in a market because they consider them to be better in relation to the price than existing products (which are priced in the HICP/CPI). The evaluation of quality differences in case of necessary changes is also very difficult. According to the principles, the valuation should be carried out based on the consumers’ valuations, which is very difficult in practice. The method of calculation used for sub-surveys are also of relevance for the result. As the HICP/CPI is calculated using many sub-surveys, it can be a source of inaccuracy for the user of the statistics if the user does not have complete knowledge about the methods applied. 

 

Bias in the Swedish HICP

# Bias source Example Magnitude Sign Counter-measure
1 Sample representativity bias HICP weights and samples updated once a year while actual consumption pattern changes also within the year Small Depending on the sample and position in the economic cycle None.
2 New products and quality changes Smarter cell phones Important Probably mostly upwards? Annual resampling
3 New sales channels Low cost food stores Possibly important Upwards To be monitored
4 Cross-border transactions Internet purchases from abroad Increasing importance Upwards? To be included in the future
5 Other coverage issues Narcotics; Prostitution; Games of chance; Implicit service charge in life-insurance Partly important Ambivalent Defined away from the HICP coverage. 
6 Certain discounts Cars; scanner data Potential risk for bias Ambivalent To be monitored and consider if improvements are possible
7 Selection bias through chaining Selection of products in the resampling Possibly important Downwards Starting resampling procedure before december
8 Quality adjustment methods Supported judgemental adjustment and Monthly chaining and resampling Potential risk for bias Uncertain To be monitored and consider if better methods can be implemented
9 Shortcomings of data sources Old household budget survey Possibly important Ambivalent To be monitored. Initiatives of finding alterantives to the household budget survey.

Comments:

1. Even though weights and most samples are updated annually in the HICP/CPI, to the extent that consumers' expenditure pattern change also within the survey year, sample representativity bias may occur. The magnitude for this bias i thought to be small.

2. An example of the bias risk connected to new products, is the treatment of high technology products, such as smartphones. The decision of when in the lifecycle to start the measurment of such products affects HICP/CPI. The typical pattern is a higher initial price and a subsequent decline. On one hand, the initial price level can be seen as an expression for quality and therefore should be included in HICP/CPI. On the other, it can be argued that such a high price may be less representative of what the average consumer is paying, since the product initially only attracts a limited number of consumers.

3. A challange when measuring price development is  the phenomenon of new sales channels. New channels may provide consumers better value through a  trade-off between price and service-level. In connection to this there are risks of not adequately capturing the pure price change.

4. The Swedish HICP in general does not include cross-border transaction in line with the recommendation on cross-border purchases , and we thus mainly price products that are sold by firms within Sweden. There are however a few exceptions such as online clothing stores located in other European countries. 

5. The coverage of the Swedish HICP is assessed to be good and fulfills the standards set out in the regulations. However there are a few consumption areas that are in principle included in the household monetary consumption expenditure, but are not covered in HICP for practical reasons. These include games of chance, narcotics, prostitution and the implicit service charge in life-insurance premiums.

6. For cars we measure list prices, not taking into account individual discounts. In scanner data, due to the sheer amount of data, we do not have full control of which discounts are included (some may be conditioned).

7. In the annual resampling procedure it is assumed that any differences in price level between previous and current year can be attributed to quality differences. This may be a valid assumption for example in a market with perfect competition, while in other cases not so.

In the Swedish CPI/HICP we saw that our price collectors tended to avoid products with discounted prices in the reference period December. Discount products have a higher probability of being sold out the next month, thus implying a higher expected work burden (negative incentive) the coming month when a replacement has to be made.

As a counter measure for some product categories such as electronics and household textiles, price collectors now select new products for the coming year already in September the year before (instead of december).

For clothing we apply a correction factor to mitigate this problem.

8. The various quality adjustment methods used have their advantages and drawbacks. For example, in supported judgemental quality adjustment, there is always a certein degree of uncertainty in the assessment. The methods called "monthly chaining and resampling" (MCR) and "bridged overlap" may be biased due to lack of comparability between new and outgoing products.

New techniques such as web scraping of product characteristics may in the future facilitate a transission to better quality adjustments methods such as hedonic quality adjustment.

9. The household budget survey (HBS) has traditionally served as a good source for distributing HICP weights on lower aggregate levels. There has however been an increasing non-response rate for the HBS and due to this the most recently planned survey (2016) was cancelled. Weights for parts of the lower-level aggregates have there not been updated since 2012, such as distribution between different types of clothing, furnitures and household utensils.

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. 

Sampling error for Swedish HICP total

Statistics

Length of 95% Confidence Interval

Comments

Monthly Change

±0.15

Somewhat shorter for April, May, June and November

Annual Change (Inflation Rate)

±0.27

Somewhat shorter for December

Monthly Change in Inflation Rate (low)

±0.18

For April, May, June and November

Monthly Change in Inflation Rate (high)

±0.24

Other months

 

 

 

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, 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 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 12.6.2, 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 conditional Cost-of-Living Index (coli). This has implications for the upper level aggregation, which deviates from HICP rules. As from 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 that has an advisory role for CPI principles and methodology.

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

CPI:

After the official release of the CPI index figure for a specific month it cannot be revised. It will therefore apply in all contexts where references are made to the consumer price index, such as laws, ordinances or agreements. On a few occasions, mistakes in the creation or processing of data have resulted in “incorrect” index numbers. As of 8 May 2000, the Statistical Database refers in part to the unrevised adopted total index numbers as of 1980 and in part to revised shadow index numbers for the total CPI and revised index numbers for product groups that are consistent with the shadow index numbers. Published inflation rate figures can be revised, but it is rare. CPI inflation is not calculated based on the adopted series but based on the shadow index numbers.

Shadow index and revised inflation rates should be calculated if the effect of the error is larger than 0.1 percentage points on the monthly rate of change or annual inflation rate.

 HICP:

According to the EU regulations, all HICP numbers can both be revised and disseminated in preliminarily form under certain circumstances. However, Eurostat and Statistics Sweden have different policies on when inflation figures should be revised. This means that Eurostat may revise Swedish HICP numbers while Statistics Sweden does not revise them. When such situations have occurred, however, Statistics Sweden have for practical reasons also chosen to revise HICP, to ensure that the statistics are consistent.

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.

 

Revisions of HICP the past 10 years        
Date that the revision was carried out Time series period revised Description Effect on aggregate level Total level Main reason
February 2013 December 2012 The Swedish calculation system was using rounded index figures, while Eurostat required "full precision".
Other aggregates: between +/-0.00 to 0.1 on the monthly rate
HICP Total: -0.03 p.e. units on monthly rate Sweden has revised figures for December 2012 due to a re-computation using a different rounding precision.
August 2008 January-July 2008 Calculation Error in 03.2 Footwear inddex No information  HICP: Total 0.1-0.3 percentage units on the monthly rate of change An error was found in a SAS programme when computing the footwear index COICOP 03.2
February 2010 January 2010 Calculation error for  COICOP code 04.4.1 (water) No information  HICP Total: less than 0.1 percentage units on monthly rate of change COICOP code 04.4.1 (water) was incorrectly omitted in the new production system launched in January 2010.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

18.1.1. Weights

National Accounts is the main source for expenditure weights at COICOP level and in many cases also below COICOP.  In cases where a more detailed breakdown is needed than what the national accounts can provide, additional sources are used, such as the household budget survey, retail trade statistics and other available market information. Changes in the composition of consumption and other changes on the consumer market are taken into account through this procedure. Weights are only used for the national level, no regional weighting is carried out. Expenditure values are updated to the price reference period december t-1 and weights are then calculated arithemtically as the share of the consumption expenditure in the total consumption expenditure for the entire HICP basket. Weights are updated annually, except for cases in the most detailed breakdown where we use HBS (mostly the detailed breakdown of different products in clothing, footwear and household goods).

The source for outlet weights is the annual revenue values from the business register, which are used either implicitly as a size variable in case of PPS sampling or explicitly for product categories with other types of sampling methods (e.g. cut-off). These weights are also updated annually.

 

18.1.1.1. Compilation at elementary aggregate level

The availability and use of detailed weights differ between product categories. For these aggregates, weights on the level of the product or outlet are used (i.e. within the elementary aggregate): 

02.1 Alcoholic beverages,
03 Clothing and footwear
04.5 Electricity and fuel
07.3 Transport services
08 Communications
09.4 Recreational and cultural services
09.5 Newspapers, books and stationery
10 Education
12.5 Insurances
12.6 Other financial services
12.7 Other services.

For other product categories than those mentioned above, we tend to use PPS sample, and therefore no explicit weights are used within the elementary aggregate (the number of observation per product/outlet tend to reflect the size component in the PPS, e.g. outlet or product revenue).

Sources of weights for elementary aggregates (product or product category weights):

- detailed national accounts tables for private consumption (sometimes detailed enough for elementary aggregate, e.g. for fuel types)
- Statistics Sweden's business turnover statistics: breakdown by typ of product (food and non-alcoholic beverages, restaurants and hotels)
- Statistics Sweden's housing expenditure survey (used for detailed weights within 04. Housing)
- industry organization reports (e.g. for supplements, vitamins, minerals)
- data from market analysis company (e.g. the breakdown for consumer electronics)
- household budget survey (breakdown within clothing, footwear, and some household utensils)
- reports from other Swedish agencies (e.g. for telecommications a report from Swedish Post and Telecom Authority is used)

Generally, the frequency of updating weights at the elementary aggregate level is once per year. However, Statistics Swedens housing expenditure survey is carried out every two years. The household budget survey was carried 2012 the last time and for the moment we have no definitite date when it will be carried out next time (due to low-response rate Statistics Sweden is investigating improved methodology). 

No weighting for regions used.

Source for outlet weights: Statistics Sweden's business register (turnover)

18.1.1.2. Compilation of sub-index weights.

Main sources of weights: 

- National accounts (both at higher aggregate level and partly at elementary aggregate level)
- Household budget survey,
- Statistics Sweden's business turnover statistics
- Statistics Sweden's housing expenditure survey
- Industry organization reports (e.g. the breakdown for consumer electronics)
- Household budget survey (breakdown within clothing, footwear, some household utensils and parts of recreation and culture division)
- Reports from other Swedish agencies (e.g. for telecommications a report from Swedish Post and Telecom Authority is used)

National accounts t-2 are at least partly used as a source for all sub-index weights in the Swedish HICP.

If no information is availlable we apply some judgemental adjustment/guestimates. This is however in very few cases, such as the breakdown of rubber boots into those for women and those for men. 

Price updating of weights are carried out according to the following formula:
Expenditure t-2* December index t-2/Average t-2* December index t-1

 

18.1.1.3. Reference period higher levels

The reference period for the national accounts data used to calculate sub-indices weights is t-2.

Reference years to get a more detailed distrubution of expenditure shares:

- Statistics Sweden's business turnover statistics (t-2)
- Statistics Sweden's housing expenditure survey (t-2 or t-3, since the survey is carried out every two years)
- Industry organization reports (mostly t-2)
- Household budget survey (2012)
- Reports from other Swedish agencies (t-2)

18.1.1.4. Weights - plausibility checking

Plausibility checkning for annual updating of weights at higher level

Two parallell calculation of weights are carried out and we make sure they give the same results in the end. Furthermore, we check the following:
- Suspicious change in weight share from previous survey year to current survey year in percentage units
- Consistency in weight aggregation, e.g. that weights at each level aggregate to the superordinate aggregate and that weight sum is 1000.

Plausibility checkning for periodic review of weights at lower levels
We carry out targeted checks for product areas that are considered to be suspicious and try to find alternative sources to compare with. New sources may be assessed to give better estimates than the existing weight source and can replace the existing source.

18.1.2. Prices

Please see the Excel file.

18.1.2.1. Data Source - overview  

The following sources are used for price data in the Swedish HICP:

  • Survey data collected from physical stores, online stores and by using questionnaires. 800 outlets are sampled for the local price collection, from a Business Register maintained by Statistics Sweden.  Approximately another 800 outlets in the form of websites, shops, banks etc are used for the central price collection. 700 landlords are included in the sample for rents.
  • Scanner data for daily necessities, alcoholic beverages, prescribed pharmaceutical products, dentists, package holidays, train tickets and motor fuel.
  • Tariffs are collected from municipalities and govermental agencies (e.g. for social protection, water supply, chimney sweeping, refuse collection and TV-licence).
  • New cars: list price data from a market analysis company
  • Second-hand cars: data with average price per model from a market analysis company
  • Additional sources in specific cases, e.g. Statistics Swedens income statistics used in order to estimate the index for social protection

18.1.2.2. Scanner data - general information

Statistics Sweden processes scanner data for these retailer types:

- Daily necessities: supermarkets, smaller markets,hypermarkets (~80% market coverage)

- Alcoholic beverages: shops owned by the government monopoly (100 % market coverage of alcoholic beverages sold legally in Sweden and to be classified within 02.1 Alcoholic beverages (i.e. not including alcohol in restaurants etc))

- Prescribed pharmaceutical products: pharmacies (100% market coverage)

- Dental care: dentists (100 % coverage)

- Train tickets (~70% coverage)

- Package holidays (~75-80% coverage)

-Fuel products: fuel station (~90% coverage)

 

 

18.1.2.3. Bulk web scraping - general information

Statistics Sweden does not use bulk web-scraping in the strict sense for HICP/CPI production.

However, we do use an application programming interface (API) to automatically collect the prices for domestic and foreign flights from a Swedish price comparison site. This procedure has allowed us to change the price collection 100% from manual to automated by increasing the sample size for both domestic and foreign flights. These flight prices are also used as a proxy for  airline ticket purchases from other sales channels (e.g. travel agencies in physical stores).

18.1.3. Sampling design and procedure

18.1.3.1. Sampling design: regions - general information

How the sample is geographically stratified.

Local price collection: No geographical stratification is used.

Central price collection, condominium fees (actual rentals): “Stockholm metropolitan area”, “Gothenburg metropolitan area”, “Other large municipalities” and “Other small municipalities”.

Indicate which regions are included.

Local price collection: The frame covers 92.5% of the value of total commerce in Sweden, according to the national Business register. Areas are subject to cutoff due to the total commerce in the area, as obtained from the Business register, on local units. The approach has been discussed and approved by the Swedish  CPI Board in 2015 regarding geographical coverage and cutoff share.

Central price collection, condominium fees (actual rentals): “Stockholm metropolitan area”, “Gothenburg metropolitan area”, “Other large municipalities” and “Other small municipalities”.

18.1.3.2. Sampling design: outlets - general information

In phase two (outlet sampling) outlets are drawn from the sample of postal codes. The outlet sampling is done with a sequential PPS design (i.e. with selection probability proportional to size). The size measure used for the PPS sampling is defined as a combination of the number of employees plus one and total turnover. Every year an estimated 20 percent of the objects are replaced, another 10 percent are replaced due to changes in the population and 70 percent of the objects remain in the sample for the following year.   Approximately another 800 outlets in the form of websites, shops, etc are sampled for the central price collection.The shop types where consumers do their shopping are identified by Household Budget survey. This information is incomplete and supplemented with information from the trade organizations. Turnover  from scanner data is also used. The sample is drawn from the frame for economic statistics, the coordinated sample system (SAMU) that is collected from the Business Register. The objects that are included in the CPI's local price collection are divided into some 40 strata by industry according to Swedish Standard Industrial Classification (SNI 2007). The sample for several central price collections, such as electricity, healthcare and entertainment, are updated to a certain extent annually. 

We distinguish between roughly 120 outlet categories. Examples include drug stores, petrol stations, book shops, computer stores, gyms, airlines, photography shops, music shops, post offices, shoe shops, pet shops, etc. No distinction is made between mail order and internet shopping. Market stall are not included in the sample. 

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

Newly significant goods and services are identified by staff at the price statistics unit (centrally) in the annual review of product specifications and product groups. The process is supported by information from price collectors, from the industries concerned, and from Eurostat. Household consumption and market shares are considered relevant for introducing new products.

New products within an already existing product group, such as specific models of smartphones, computers, printers and tablets are introduced as a new representative item in the course of the year if it replaces an old outgoing model. Broader product categories that constitute entire product groups/elementary aggregates are brought into CPI once per year. 

 Broad product category introduced last year:

2017:
Private child care services
Car leasing
Fresh berries

2018: None

2019: None

2020: Earphones

 

 

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Price data is collected every month.

18.3. Data collection

18.3.1. Price collection surveys

Survey data is collected by the following means:

- local price collectors doing visits in physical oulets using tablets

- an electronic web questionnaire (rents)

- staff at the central office sending questionnaires via email or collecting prices on the internet, in a semi-automated way

- internet price collection for flight tickets in a more or less fully automated way

- scanner data delivered from companies

18.3.2. Timing of price collection

  • 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. 
  • Electricity prices are collected once a month, but the spot price collected from a web site that has compiled an average for the entire month. Hence we catch into any volatility in the variable portion of electricity prices.
  • Price collection for actual rents is carried out every month until the new rent for the year is negotiated between the landlord and the Swedish Union of Tennants. Rents are paid per month and refer to the whole month, therefore there is a need for temporal sampling within the month. In december, the questionnaire is sent out to the full sample again in order to be able to take into account changes that occured since last collection (usually only a small change with minor effect).
  • Prices for products with dynamic pricing such as transport services are collected more frequently according booking schedules (e.g. collection several times per month).
18.4. Data validation

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

 

18.4.1. Data validation - price data

A first type of validation check is carried out in connection with the price collection itself. For locally collected products, the price collector receives a warning in the data entry software if the value is illogical or missing. For centrally collected prices that are manually registered, central staff carry out similar checks. The carefulness of such checks depends on the survey’s importance (weight and variance).

In the next step, another validation at the micro level is carried out by the central staff at the Price statistics unit. This step starts when prices for a certain month and product group have been entered into the production system and are shown in the interface. Automatic checks are carried out in the system:

  • A check if the price is outside of a pre-defined price level interval
  • A check for large price relatives
  • A check if the price signal (signals: regular price, discounted price, replacement, sold out) is logically consistent with the entered price.
  • A check for missing prices
  • A check for missing quality adjustment value (if product replacement occured but no adjustment is made)
  • A check for suspicious quality adjustments (e.g. if the price of the new good is lower but the reported quality is reported as considerably higher)

A warning is shown if the system find suspicious values and the central staff can correct the price, write a comment or confirm if the price is ok.

The production system store history of data editing actions and who did the change.

A generic validation tool, SELEKT, for selective validation has been developed at Statistics Sweden. The system aims to reduce the number of warnings but at the same time discover important errors. For more information about this system, see the article by Anders Norberg (2016), "SELEKT - A Generic Tool for Selective Editing", Journal of Official Statistics, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2016, pp. 209-229.

18.5. Data compilation

18.5.1. Index formulae

In general:

  • The Swedish HICP (and -CT)  uses a Laspeyres-type index above the elementary aggregate level.
  • At the elementary aggregate level we use Jevon's index (ratio of geometric mean prices or geometric mean of price relatives) in almost all product areas, since it it has proven to have appealing features, is is international consensus to use this index and one of two allowed index types in regulation 1749/96. In a few cases where substitution is considered to be negligible or absent and where price levels are similar, we use Dutot-type index (ratio of arithemtic mean prices). This is the other index allowed by regulation 1749/96. These exceptionally cases are municipality services, where the consumer can substitute only by moving to another municipality, which is unlikely since the service charge is only a small share out of all expenditures, and a component in the electricity charges, which is also connected to where the consumer resides.

The number of decimals that we apply in HICP/HICP-CT for

  • price observations: 2
  • weights: 8
  • the aggregation/chaining: 8
  • the transmission of index figures: 7
  • the transmission of rates of change: N/A (we do not transmitt rates of change to Eurostat)
  • the publication  of index figures: (by Statistics Sweden): 2
  • the publication of rates of change (by Statistics Sweden): 1

18.5.2. Aggregation method

Aggregation steps from bottom to up:

1) Elementary aggregate indices (december previous year=100) are aggregated using Jevons index in most cases with prices from reference period and comparison period (quality adjusted prices where necessary). Exceptions are two EAs where Dutot index is used (municipality services and a sub-aggregate for electricity).

2) Indices (december previous year=100) for each COICOP-level are then aggregated using the elementary aggregates directly. This means that the index for HICP total is based directly on elementary aggregates and not on the indices for intermediate COICOP groups. These indices (december previous year=100) for all COICOP are then used in the chaining.

18.5.3. Chaining and linking method

The procedure for chaining for each respective aggregation level (above elementary aggregate level) within the HICP is to multiply the index for the current month (December y-1=100) with the longer index series (2015=100) for each particular aggregate. No splicing is made (other than chaining the index).



Annexes:
Chaining method

18.5.4. Quality adjustment

  • The approach used for products in COICOP divisions 05, 09 and 12:
    Supported judgmental quality adjustment. Performed by local price collectors, except for most consumer electronics, where it is performed by staff at the central office. The price collector/central staff indicates the judged value in SEK of the quality difference between the replaced and the replacing model. The price collector often asks the sales person for information, but price collector is instructed to make an independent judgment from the consumer perspective. For electronic goods (except TV), staff in central office make a judgement utlizing product information on internet. All quality adjustments are validated and approved centrally.
  • Package size adjustment: For changes in quantity (e.g. from 200 g to 400 g), the price is adjusted in proportion to the product quantity change.
  • 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 is used to correct for a downward bias occurring when local price collectors tend to choose a lower share of discounted prices in the new sample for reference period December, compared to the share in survey month December. The propensity to choose a lower share of discounted products in the reference period is because a discounted price is a signal to the price collector that the product is likely to only be sold for a short period, thus meaning the product would soon have to be replaced and that the workload gets higher.
  • Approach used for rental housing (04.1): The staff of price statistics unit makes supported judgmental quality adjustment. Detailed information about all quality changes are collected in a phone interview with the property owner, facilitating the adjustment. In addition, option cost lists are utilized that are available on many landlords webpages, e.g. it costs X kronor/month extra to have a dish machine. If this amount is found in the list of more than one landlord, the lowest value is used.
  • Approach used for cars (07.1.1):
    New cars:
    For change in equipment option pricing is used (including a 50% reduction of the quality change value)
    For changes in horsepower and fuel consumption, supported judgemental adjustment is used.
    For a car of new model year, either an expert judgement is carried out (by our data provider) or option pricing.
    For a new model generation, no quality adjustment is done and the car is taken out of the sample.
    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 model year to adjust for age.
  • Approach used for computers and computer accessories (09.1.3):
    Monthly chaining and resampling is used.
  • Approach used for computer games, 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.
  • Direct comparison is used for certain product groups (e.g. curtains, sleeping sheet, bags and saucepan) where the product life cycle was assessed to be long enough and the product description could be narrowly defined. An analysis was carried out to determine which product groups are suitable for this.
  • The method "link to show no price change" is not officially and consciously used in the Swedish CPI.

 

  Indicative frequency of replacements (%) of which treated with…  
COICOP ... direct comparison ...package size adjustment ...single variable adjustment …option pricinig …supported judgmental adjustment …hedonic repricing ...monthly chaining and replenishment …bestseller list method Total
01 0 < 1 0 0,0 0 0 0 0 < 1
02 0 < 1 0 0,0 0 0 0 0 < 1
03 0 0 0 0,0 0 14-18 0 0 14-18
04 0 0 0 0,0 < 1 0 0 0 < 1
05 <1-3 0 0 0,0 1-3 0 0 0 2-4
06 0 0 0 0,0 < 1 0 0 0 < 1
07 0 0 0 1 < 1 0 0 0 1
08 0 0 0 0,0 <1-2 0 <1-2 0 2
09 < 1 0 0  < 1 1-3 0 <1-2 5-7 8-10
10 0 0 4-6 0,0 0 0 0 0 4-6
11 2-5 0 0 0,0 0 0 0 0 2-5
12 1-3 0 0 0,0 < 1 0 0 0 1-4

18.5.5. Seasonal items - general information

We treat the following items as seasonal items, with a method in line with Regulation 330/2009:

  • 03 Clothing and footwear (strict annual weights index with all-seasonal estimation)
  • 09.6.0.2 Package holidays (strict annual weights index with counter-seasonal estimation)

 

 

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.


19. Comment Top

No information.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top