The impact of the corona crisis on compiling the CPI

The corona crisis is having an impact on how the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is compiled. This is primarily due to the fact that certain services are currently unavailable (e.g. package holidays, hairdressing, a cup of coffee at a café), which means that no one can charge a price for providing these services. In addition, the purchasing behaviour of consumers has changed while, at the same time, it has become more difficult – and in some cases even impossible – to observe prices accurately.

Depending on the situation, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) employs different methods to arrive at a notional price for these goods and services. The methods CBS uses are in compliance with the guidelines drawn up by Eurostat in collaboration with all of the member states of the European Union and the European Central Bank. The solutions adopted will enable CBS to continue to publish the CPI in full and to ensure that in due course the price development calculated between the post-corona and pre-corona period will reflect reality.