International price comparison: Data collection of food, beverages and tobacco prices
Description of the data collection
The aim of the international price comparison is to produce country-specific purchasing power parities. Purchasing power parity is an exchange rate by which the prices of commodity baskets in two countries are made equal in a common currency.
The data collection is based on Regulation (EC) No 1445/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Consumer prices are collected six times during three years for the international price comparison. The schedule for the next price survey is:
2019 spring: domestic appliances and other household commodities
2019 autumn: motor vehicles, restaurants and hotels
2020 spring: services
2020 autumn: health care and furnishings
2021 spring: food, beverages and tobacco
2021 autumn: clothing and footwear
In addition, prices are collected every two years for machinery and equipment for the price comparison of investment commodities.
From whom are data collected?
Price data are collected from retail outlets in the Helsinki, Vantaa and Espoo areas. The outlets vary randomly by survey group. They comprise a representative sample of stores of different sizes and types.
Depending on the survey, altogether approximately 2,000 to 5,000 price observations are collected, in other words, around 4,000 to 10,000 prices per year. Around 200 price observations are collected for machinery and equipment. Statistics Finland’s statistical interviewers collect the prices either by visiting the stores or by telephone in connection with the collection of prices for services, for example. In addition, some data are collected by email.
The obligation to provide data is based on the Statistics Act (280/2004).
The Statistics Act obliges Statistics Finland to treat the data as confidential and use them only for statistical and research purposes.
The data are only published as index format statistics at product group level. The data concerning an individual outlet or product cannot be identified.
What are the data used for?
The collected price data are used for calculating purchasing power parities for Finland. The calculations are the responsibility of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, which also publishes the annual final results.
Purchasing power parity measures the value of the currency of a national economy on the basis of the volume of goods and services that can be purchased with it. This provides a clearer perception of the per capita output of the national economy than could be obtained by just converting gross domestic product or (usually) its value into euros or US dollars.
How often are data collected?