Consumer Price Index

Description of the data collection

The Consumer Price Index describes development in the prices of products and services purchased by households in Finland. Inflation for a given month is usually expressed as a year-on-year change, i.e. as the change in price from the corresponding month of the previous year. It comprises the price development of the overall index, commodity groups, and 486 commodities.

In addition to their national indices, the Member States of the European Union also produce a Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices. The development of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices deviates from that of the national consumer price indices, because it includes fewer commodities. The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices does not include owner-occupancy, vehicle tax, games of chance, insurance premiums on owner-occupied dwellings or interests on consumption credits. It covers 87.9 per cent of the national consumer price index’s consumption expenditure.

From whom are data collected?

Each month, usually between the 10th and the 20th day of the month, Statistics Finland’s interviewers collect around 50,000 prices from approximately 2,900 outlets for the indices. The outlets included in the collection are drawn partly by random sampling and partly by judicious sampling.

In addition, price data are collected by telephone, on the Internet and by e-mail from the data suppliers.

The data supply obligation is based on the Finnish Statistics Act (280/2004, Section 14).

Data processing

The Statistics Act obliges Statistics Finland to treat the data as confidential and use them only for statistical purposes.

Data on an individual outlet and detailed data on the commodities on which data are collected are confidential and are not released in identifiable form to parties outside Statistics Finland.

What are the data used for?

The data are used to monitor and analyse consumer price development.

The Consumer Price Index is the most commonly used measure of inflation. It is used to determine how much the value of an index basket complying with a certain consumption structure changes during a certain period. The Consumer Price Index is also used in wage negotiations in efforts to secure the development of real earnings by means of the Index.

The Cost-of-living Index 1951:10=100 is a long time series calculated by chaining from the latest Consumer Price Index (currently Consumer Price Index 2010=100) and its development, therefore, follows the Consumer Price Index. For example, child benefits, student allowance and national pensions are tied to the Cost-of-living Index , and often also the rents of dwellings, business premises and land. In the employment pensions index, the Consumer Price Index accounts for 80 per cent and earnings level change for 20 per cent.

The data from the data collection are used in the following statistics:

How often are data collected?