Harmonised index of consumer prices 


Paru le :Paru le14/07/2024


The harmonised index consumer prices (HICP) is the indicator used to assess compliance with the convergence criterion on price stability established in the European Union Treaty (Maastricht).

It was designed expressly for purposes of international comparison. The HICP has not replaced the national index, which remains the reference index used to analyse inflation in France, along with the core inflation index.

At the request of Eurostat, statistical institutes have supplied harmonised consumer price indices since 1996. Initially, the methods used by the 15 member states of the European Community to calculate their national price indices were distinctly different.

Bearing in mind the need to determine a threshold as important as inflation in the Economic and Monetary Union, they therefore could not be used to adequately compare inflation in these countries.

This is why the harmonised consumer price indices are is calculated using methods and content that ensure improved comparability.

In February 1996, INSEE published an interim consumer price index with a common scope for the 15 member countries, which was replaced in March 1997 by a harmonised price index, known as the HICP, with a common scope and methods.

This index, which began in January 1996, has been calculated since January 2016 with a base of 100 in 2015.