Two measures are used in Finland to track consumer price inflation: the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) and the national index of consumer prices. As these two measures differ in terms of both the method of calculation and the underlying baskets, deviations can also be seen in the inflation rates measured by these two indices.
The price data used in the calculation of the indices is nevertheless the same. The harmonised index of consumer prices covers slightly less than 90% of the commodity basket of the national consumer price index. Compilation of the HICP has been made as uniform as possible in all EU member states in order to derive an index comparable between all EU countries.
Euro area consumer price inflation is measured by the euro area HICP, which is published by the Eurostat. This measure of inflation is used by the ECB in determining price stability in the euro area. In terms of the monetary policy, consistency and timeliness are of the essence in the calculation of the index.
In contrast, national consumer price indices may be drawn up in different ways in different countries owing to, for example, differences in the respective national housing markets. In Finland, the most significant difference between the national consumer price index and the harmonised consumer price index is that the capital costs of owner-occupied housing are included in the national index, i.e. the index includes the cost of purchasing a new dwelling, mortgage interest rates, basic repairs of dwellings and all other costs related to owner-occupied housing. Moreover, Finland's national consumer price index also includes interest on consumer credits as well as gaming and certain taxes. The index is compiled by Statistics Finland.