Publication of the CPI flash estimateAt the moment, CBS first publishes a flash estimate of the inflation rate based on the HICP. The regular publication of the CPI follows a few working days later and includes the complete figures for all product groups. CBS will now publish a flash estimate of the CPI at the same time as the HICP estimate.
This CPI flash estimate is intended to improve the clarity of communication about the inflation rate in the Netherlands. CBS’ communication about the inflation rate centres around the CPI. This is because the CPI is set according to the national definition, which focuses on consumption by Dutch households. As of 2023, the flash estimate will also set out the inflation figures according to the CPI, linking the publication of the flash estimate closely to the regular publication which is issued a few days later.
CBS will of course continue to publish figures related to the HICP. The HICP is set according to international definitions and methods, and it serves the important objective of comparing inflation rates between different countries. Eurostat uses the HICP figures from all EU countries to calculate the inflation rate for the euro area and the European Union. CBS has published a comprehensive overview of the differences between the CPI and the HICP.
The CPI flash estimate will be published on the same day as Eurostat’s quick estimate of HICP: usually the last working day of the month covered by the figures, or else the first working day of the following month. The only exception is the December reporting month, which tends to be published later. The flash estimate for December 2022 will be published on 6 January 2023.
Estimate based on incomplete source dataThe source data used to calculate the CPI flash estimate will be incomplete. As the remaining data will be processed over the following days and then incorporated into the calculations, the regular publication of the CPI will include these additional data. The published figures can be updated a few days later as extra source data become available. These adjustments are usually relatively minor.
Because the CPI flash estimate is based on incomplete source data, this CBS publication includes no indices, but only the year-on-year percentage change in the CPI. The year-on-year percentage change compares the reporting month to the same month in the previous year. This decision was made because the CPI in the Netherlands is used for indexation, a purpose for which the flash estimate is not suitable. Publishing the indices later in the month prevents the flash estimate accidentally being used for indexation purposes.
As with the HICP, the CPI flash estimate is published with figures both for the all items categoryand for certain key special aggregates. Special aggregates group various expenditure categories together according to a theme, such as energy or food. The publication of figures for these groups follows Eurostat’s publication schedule for the HICP.
The groups included in the flash estimate are:
- 000000 All items
- SA03 Industrial goods excluding energy and motor fuels
- SA07 Energy including motor fuels
- SA08 Food including alcohol and tobacco
- SA09 Unprocessed food
- SA10 Processed food including alcohol and tobacco
- SA11 Services
- SA19 Overall index excluding energy and motor fuels
- SA20 Overall index excluding energy, motor fuels, food, alcohol and tobacco
- SA21 Overall index excluding energy, motor fuels and unprocessed food
All indices, month-on-month percentage changes and year-on-year percentage changes for all product groups are published later in the month, in the regular publication.