Consumer price index: documentation of statistics
Basic data of the statistics
The Consumer Price Index is used as a general measure of inflation.
Consumer Price Indices consist of four indices which are Consumer Price Index (CPI), Cost-of-living Index (COLI), Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) and Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices at Constant Taxes (HICP-CT).
Households cover all citizens of Finland regardless of nationality and right of residence.
Households’ individual consumption expenditure refers to the part of consumption expenditure that occurred in the economic territory of Finland within a reference period.
Unit of measure
The weight structure is published as permilles.
Prices are collected as euros with the exactness of two decimals.
The Consumer Price Index series starts from October 1957 and is updated monthly.
Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices is from January 2005, and has been chained backwards to 1995.
Frequency of dissemination
At times the chain index is also mentioned in such cases where the comparison period is retained fixed in comparisons within the year, but the comparison period and the weight structure of the index is changed whenever the year changes.
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
or a more detailed description of these, see the Consumer Price Index Handbook for users, pp. 16 to 17 on web page https://www.stat.fi/tup/julkaisut/tiedostot/julkaisuluettelo/yksk39_201500_2016_16191_net.pdf (in Finnish).
The delay from the last day of the statistical month to the release of first preliminary results is 7 to 8 days.
The delay from the last day of the statistical month to the release final results is 14 days, except the index for January when it is 19 days.
Comparability - geographical
Comparability - over time
Coherence - cross domain
Coherence -national accounts
Source data and data collections
Consumer Price Index is based on sample survey where scanner data is not available.The sample consists of two separate parts, the Product sample (the products included in the index ) and the Outlet sample (the outlets from which product information is collected).
Until 2012, updating of the product sample took place in connection with the base year revision at intervals of approximately five years. Since 2013, the product sample has been updated annually. The product sample is formed utilising statistics on retail trade sales, the Household Budget Survey and other sources.
The outlets in the outlet sample of the Consumer Price Index are selected in a way that they represent as well as possible the structure of retail trade in both retail chains and the size of the stores. The regional differences are also taken into account if possible. Statistics Finland’s Register of Enterprises and Establishments is used as the sampling frame. The outlets included in the collection are picked from the frame randomly so that different size categories are represented. In addition to turnover, the knowledge of Statistics Finland’s interviewers of the local area is utilised in the sampling, which can help include new important outlets in data collection even if they are not yet visible in the Business Register.
Frequency of data collection
Missing data are imputed with agreed procedures. Typically missing price data are imputed with the price development of other products/services in the same category value, the so-called category-average method.
Scanner data are genuinely collected transaction data so they need not be corrected afterwards. Only erroneously classified products are corrected in line with the COICOP classification.
Documentation on methodology
HICP manual: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3859598/9479325/KS-GQ-17-015-EN-N.pdf
CPI manual: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---stat/documents/presentation/wcms_331153.pdf
Principles and outlines
Contact organisation unit
The calculation of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices is guided by EU Regulations. The basic legal act is Regulation No 792/2016 of the European Parliament and of the Council which concerns the compilation of the index of consumer prices comparable between EU Member States. Additionally, there are Commission regulations that prescribe the calculation methods and the coverage of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices at Constant Taxes has been decreed by Regulation 119/2013. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/hicp/legislation
Legal acts and other agreements
The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.
Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.
Further information: Statistical legislationScanner data acquisition agreements are made with targeted outlets for deliveries of mass data on the yearly or monthly level. These agreements cover mainly the sales information of products (price, quantity, value of sales) and include particularly strict access rights. As a result, scanner data cannot be offered for research purposes.
Only the necessary data that are not available from administrative data sources are collected from data suppliers. Index series are published so that no individual enterprise's data or development can be deduced from them.
Confidentiality - policy
The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable.
Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
Confidentiality - data treatment
Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service.
Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland
As the year changes, the weight structure of Consumer Price Index is published and in the review the most essential changes to price collection and calculation methods made in change of statistical year are described.
Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices is delivered to EU twice a month: a flash estimate and final index series. Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices at Constant Taxes is delivered once a month: only the final data are sent to EU. In addition to HICP and HICP-CT deliveries, commodity weight structures (preliminary and final data) and country weight structures as well as administered price weight shares from total consumption are delivered to EU in the beginning of each new statistical year.
The changes made in the change of the statistical year are updated to metadatasystems of EU (ESS metadatahandler) and IMF (ICS, integrated correspondence system).
The Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) with new and removed commodities is updated to Statistics Finland’s classification system as the year changes.
Accessibility and clarity
Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.
In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.
Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.
Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service
Individual products or services and outlets from which price data have been collected are described in the data file only with identification codes. This is made to ensure the protection of unit-level data.
Unit-level data are not released to other authorities.
Data revision - policy
Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.
The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.
Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.
Due to the large number of samples and sampling designs differing from each other, it is difficult to assess the statistical standard error for the index. The index is generally assessed to be so exact that it is statistically sensible to publish its results at the present accuracy of two decimal places.
In addition to the above, the Quality Guidelines for Official Statistics handbook also compiles knowledge related to planning and implementation of the statistical system into common knowledge capital. http://www.stat.fi/meta/qg_2ed_en.pdf
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices methodological manual can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3859598/9479325/KS-GQ-17-015-EN-N.pdf.
The ILO Manual of Consumer Price Index (Consumer Price Index Manual: Theory and Practice) can be found at https://www.ilo.org/global/statistics-anddatabases/WCMS_331153/lang--en/index.htm.
Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice.
Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.
Further information: Publication principles for statistics
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The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.Go to the archive page