The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used as a principal measure of inflation in Latvia.

Definitions

Consumer price changes on average per year (annual average inflation) shows the average price changes in the last 12 months, compared to the previous 12 months.

This indicator is mostly used in the macroeconomic analysis when investigating the inflationary processes in a longer period of time, as it is practically not influenced by short-term or transient price fluctuations.

The consumer price changes compared to the corresponding period of the previous year (annual inflation) reflect the price changes within 12 months. In December of each year the indicator reflects price changes during a calendar year.

This indicator is used in the calculations of social benefits, indexation of wages and pensions, reviewing the lease and rent payments, accountancy, as well as to determine the compensation for material losses to individuals and legal entities (wages and salaries not paid, thefts, accidents, etc.). This measure is responsive to one-off price leaps in comparison or reference periods, however, in general it allows reflecting the most recent price changes better.

Consumer price changes, compared to the previous period (monthly inflation) reflect changes in the average price level during a month.

This indicator may be substantially influenced by seasonal price fluctuations.

CPI reflects changes in the prices of consumer goods and services in a specified period of time. The CPI measures the average level of price changes in a fixed amount of selected goods and services (the consumer basket). This indicator is used as a principal measure of inflation in Latvia.

The CPI reference period is year 2015, which is expressed by 100 index points (2015 = 100). Price changes during a month, year or any other period are calculated on the basis of price indices. Price indices with the reference periods 2010 = 100, 2005 = 100, 2000 = 100 or December 1990 = 100 are used to calculate price changes over a longer period of time.

CPI is pure price index. It does not reflect the changes in purchasing/ consumption patterns or brands and does not reflect the effect of outlet and service provider substitution.

Database contains weighted arithmetical average prices of selected consumer goods (mainly food products and selected non-food commodities) which may be easily grouped and described according to common characteristics. Prices of goods wide range of which is offered, are not published, e.g., clothing, footwear, electrical appliances, etc.

The main intention of the price registration is evaluation of price changes during a certain period of time aimed at calculating the CPI.

Qualitative goods with price discounts offered to all buyers are also taken into account in the price registration.

Prices are shown including all taxes.

The impact calculation is made to assess the degree of influence a specified product or product group has on the overall CPI or to assess the contribution of this product or product group to the overall CPI. The percentage points are used as the measurement unit of the impact calculation.

Products or product groups undergoing insignificant price changes, but having large share in the consumer basket, can influence the overall CPI more than the products having little share in the consumer basket, but undergoing major price changes.

Dissemination Format and Release Calendar

Advance Release Calendar

Theme Reference period Planned release datesort icon Remarks
Consumer Price Indices
  • 2017
10.01.2018
Consumer Price Indices
  • December 2017
10.01.2018
Consumer Price Indices
  • January 2018
12.02.2018
Consumer price index weights
  • 2018
12.02.2018
Consumer Price Indices
  • February 2018
08.03.2018

Theme Reference period Actual release datesort icon Remarks
Consumer Price Indices
  • November 2017
08.12.2017
Consumer Price Indices
  • October 2017
08.11.2017
Consumer Price Indices
  • September 2017
09.10.2017
Consumer Price Indices
  • August 2017
08.09.2017
Consumer Price Indices
  • July 2017
08.08.2017

News Releases


Date Title
10.01.2018 Consumer price changes in December 2017
12.02.2018 Consumer price changes in January 2018
08.03.2018 Consumer price changes in February 2018

Publications

Download CSB publications on various time periods (starting from 2007) in section E-publications and subscribe for paper publications in section Publications.

Data on CPI are available in the statistical yearbooks and quarterly bulletins. Publications are available in the "E-publications" section under topic General Statistics.

Classifications

All goods and services of the CPI basket are grouped according to the European Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (ECOICOP). The data are published at the level of ECOICOP groups, classes and subclasses.

A Classification Catalogue with classification codes and their explanations has been published on the CSB website.

Customised Datasets

If you would like to obtain statistical data that are not available in publications or in the CSB online data base, please send us an information request:
 - postal mail: 1 Lāčplēša Street, Riga, Latvia, LV-1301;
 - e-mail: info [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv;
 - visiting Information centre.

Read more

Reference (certificate)

If you would like to obtain statistical data to deal with legal formalities (references or certificates for agreements, public procurement, court procedures etc.): Chargeable services/Reference (certificates).

How to use CPI in indexation

The objective of indexation is to compensate the adverse effect of inflation on the value of money. For that most often total Consumer Price Index is used. For compensation purposes also indices of individual consumption groups may be used, as well as producer price indices of selected sector or group of sectors.

In order to carry out indexation the initial value (the value to be indexed) should be known as well as the period of time for which the indexation will be carried out and the Consumer Price Index of the reference period.

For example, on the 1 January 2016 (the reference period) the value is EUR 700. In order to determine the new indexed value at the end of 2016, the CPI compared to December 2015, in December 2016 must be used. Since the calculation period for the CPI is month, the CSB cannot provide data on any specified day or week.

The necessary price indices are obtained from the table Consumer price indices by commodity groups:

1) the CPI in December 2015 (the reference period) is 99.4;

2) the CPI in December 2016 (the comparison period) is 101.6;

On the basis of these data, the new value is calculated:

EUR 700 x 101.6/99.4 = EUR 700 x 1.022 = EUR 715.40

The new value is 2.2% higher than the initial (reference period) value. The rise reflects annual inflation in year 2016.

Data Collection

Survey Method and Source Data

Sample survey on consumer prices.

The prices of all goods and services, except for the prices of fuels for transport, are recorded every month from 4th to 20th date. Fuels for transport prices are recorded from 1st to 25th date. Qualitative goods with price discoumts offered to all consumers are also taken into account in price collection. The prices of goods are used to calculate the CPI of the month in which they were observed, whereas the prices of services are used to calculate the CPI of the month in which the consumption of the service at the price recorded can commence.

Price collection is performed by trained CSB employees – price collectors.

To ensure adequate representation of more expensive goods and services, which require larger share of household expenditure, in the overall CPI, the weights representing the proportion of expenditure on each individual commodity to the total household expenditure are computed.

The weights are updated every year.

The weights used for index calculation are annual average weights derived mainly from the National Accounts and Household Budget Survey (HBS). The HBS collects data from a 2-stage stratified sample that consists of approximately 4 000 households. Additional sources used to calculate the weights include administrative data, branch statistics data, as well as information provided by enterprises and retailers. The weights reference period is the year T-2. The weights are updated annually and price–updated to December T-1.

The outlets, from which prices are collected, are chosen to represent the existing trade and services network, and usually they are based on the three main criteria: popularity among consumers, significant turnover from consumer sales and availability of goods and services included in the CPI basket.  The sample of price recording places is regularly updated. If a shop is closed down or liquidated, it is replaced by another shop of an equal significance. The sample also includes open markets.

Statistical Population

Population Coverage

The CPI covers the whole resident population of the country, including persons living in institutional households (social care institutions, children’s homes, prisons, etc.). The CPI does not cover expenses of non-resident travellers.

Geographical Coverage

The consumer price survey is conducted in Riga and 10 other towns. Using population weights survey data are generalized on all country: on both urban and rural territories.

Item Coverage

The CPI covers the prices paid for goods and services in monetary transactions. The CPI excludes illegal goods and services, gifts, expenditure on the owner-occupied housing, as well as interest and credit charges.

Sample size

In 2017, the CPI "basket" contains 517 goods and services the prices of which are recorded regularly. Approximately 2-thousand various trade and services outlets are surveyed. In total, about 20-thousand prices are observed each month.

Average number of prices/ goods and services in consumption groups observed during a month:

                        

  Prices

Goods and services

01 Food and non-alcoholic beverages 6 270 127
02 Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 590 13
03 Clothing and footwear 2 090 65
04 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 1 490 30
05 Furnishings, household goods and cleaning 1 840 54
06 Health 1 370 34
07 Transport 1 860 47
08 Communication 420 13
09 Recreation and culture 1 760 58
10 Education 180 9
11 Restaurants and hotels 630 16
12 Miscellaneous goods and services 1 690 51

Specifications for goods and services under observation are kept unchanged during the whole year.

Statistical Processing

Calculation Method

At first, the average price of products and services collected in localities is calculated. It is calculated as simple arithmetic mean of the prices of goods and services surveyed. From all the average prices collected in localities, the average price for the whole country of each product and service is calculated using population weights.

Afterwards, the price index of each good and service (lower-level price index) is calculated. Price indices of lower aggregation levels are calculated as the ratio of arithmetic mean prices in the comparison andto that in the reference periods.

For the calculation of higher level (consumer group) price indices and the overall CPI a Laspeyres-type formula that expresses the weighted arithmetic mean value of the lower-level price indices is used:

 the overall Consumer Price Index in the period T, compared to the period 0 (the reference period);

 the share of the product j in the consumer basket in the reference period;

 the price index of the product j in the period T, compared to the period 0 (the reference period).

The reference period used in the CPI calculations is the average value of 2015 (2015 = 100). If December of each year is the linking month, then price index in month m in year G is calculated as follows:

  – the latest link in the chain (price index in the month of the comparison year, compared to the December of the previous year);

– the link of the chain, which is calculated from historical data by moving from December as reference period to the average value of the year.

Reference Period

The reference period of prices is December of the previous year. To calculate the price changes in a longer time period, the price indices of each year are chained in one time series with the same reference period.

The CPI reference period is the year 2015, expressed by 100 index points (2015 = 100). The price changes during a month, year or any other period are calculated on the basis of price indices. The price indices with the reference period 2010 = 100, 2005 = 100, 2000 = 100 or December 1990 = 100 are used to calculate the price changes over a longer period of time.

Data Revision

The published data are final and are not revised.

Comparability

Comparability over time

The comparable CPI data are available starting from 1991.

International Comparability

Eurostat

Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Union) compiles and on its website publishes the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP)* in the European Union (EU) and euro area as a whole as well as in each country thereof separately. Unlike the national CPI, the HICP includes also traveler expenditure in Latvia, but excludes expenditure on lotteries and gambling.

The calculated price indices, price changes and weights, as well as methodology and other information is available under section: Statistics/ Economy and finance/ Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP):

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

* The differences between the national CPI, that published by National Statistical Offices and the HICP published by Eurostat are described in this document.

International Monetary Fund

Methodology  http://dsbb.imf.org/

Confidentiality

Confidentiality of the information provided by respondents is protected by the Section 17 of the Statistics Law stipulating rights and obligations of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia and other state authorities producing official statistics. Read more

Quality

In order to ensure methodological compliance and quality, Eurostat carries out HICP validation tests in the EU countries on a regular basis. In 2007 and 2013, Eurostat published reports on detailed evaluation of HICP in Latvia.

The last report, which was published in 2013, confirmed that Latvian HICP calculation methods comply with the set criteria, and the required level of HICP accuracy and reliability is ensured. The Latvian HICP data passes all the standard HICP validation tests – they are internally consistent and aggregate correctly. Latvian HICP is comparable with HICP of other European Union countries.

The HICP is indicator established to compare the average consumer price level among the EU countries. HICP basically is calculated by the same method as national Consumer Price Index (CPI). Compared to CPI, what is the general measurement of inflation in our country, the HICP has slightly different definition of population coverage, because the expenditure structure of HICP includes also the foreign tourist expenditure in our country. Consequently, Eurostat expert observations and conclusions about the HICP methodological compliance are entirely attributable also to the CPI.

The reports are available on Eurostat homepage section about HICP compliance monitoring.

In November 2014, Eurostat on its website (under section Technical and Thematic News Releases) published a report on the euro changeover impact on inflation in Latvia:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/hicp/publications/technical-and-thematic-news-releases 

Eurostat assessment of the situation in Latvia was similar to that in other countries that had joined the euro area before us.

Contact person on methodology

Name Surname Phone number Position Email
Nataļja Dubkova 67366644 daļas vadītājs Natalja.Dubkova@csb.gov.lv

Last update

09.02.2017

Construction cost indices

Export / import unit value index

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

House Pice Index

New residential buildings - prices index

Owner-Occupied Housing Price Index

Producer price index in industry

Producer price indices for services

Explanation of symbols

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Magnitude zero

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Less than half of the unit employed

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Data not available or too uncertain for presentation

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Figure not applicable because column heading and stub line make entry impossible, absurd or meaningless

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Data not released for confidentiality reasons

If data are absolute numbers

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Magnitude zero