Statistics Netherlands changes publication strategy regarding HICP

In the first or second week after the reporting month, Statistics Netherlands publishes the first results of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Harmonised Consumer Price Index (HICP). Usually, all information regarding consumer prices is known at Statistics Netherlands prior to publication of the first results and further adjustments are not required. Occasionally, certain consumer price data are not available on time and later adjustments may be necessary.
To avoid ambiguity, the first CPI results are always labelled as ”first published” and ”provisional”. After one month, the data will be labelled as ”definitive”.

So far, Statistics Netherlands has employed the same strategy with respect to HICP data, but this strategy differs from the method used by most other EU member states. At the request of Eurostat, Statistics Netherlands has changed its publication strategy as from August 2012.

The HICP regulations do not discriminate between early provisional and later definitive data. HICP data are only labelled as ”provisional”, if the data are incomplete at the moment of publication and/or a revision is anticipated in the months to come. In this case, some detailed data can be provisional, whereas other data may not be. On the other hand, HICP data can always be subject to revision, even if they were not labelled as provisional in the previous month. Revised data are always identifiable as such.

The strategy change will not in any way affect the results.

The scheme below shows the differences between the CPI and the HICP labels introduced in August 2012:

1. First published figure
a. If based on incomplete data or if a revision is anticipated
   CPI:  provisional
   HICP: provisional
b. If based on complete data and if no revision is anticipated
   CPI:  provisional
   HICP: no label

2. Next published figures
a. If changed relative to the previous publication
   CPI:  definitive and revised
   HICP: revised
b. If not changed relative to the previous publication
   CPI:  definitive
   HICP: no label