Monetary Policy Glossary

Monetary Policy Glossary

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Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) 
A statistical indicator of consumer prices in the States belonging to the euro area, drawn up using the same methodological criteria across the entire area and published by Eurostat. It is used by the Governing Council of the ECB to assess price stability. It was standardised to comply with the requirements of the Treaty, and this was undertaken by the European Commission (through Eurostat), in collaboration with national statistics offices, the European Monetary Institute (EMI), and subsequently with the ECB. The breakdown of the HICP into groups of goods and services was defined according to the harmonised classification of private consumption by purpose. Moreover, due to their analytical interest, calculations are made for certain special groups, such as unprepared foodstuffs, seasonal foodstuffs, manufactured goods excluding energy, energy, services, etc. The unprepared foodstuffs and energy groups are those with the greatest fluctuations in price and they are therefore excluded from the HICP to obtain the so-called core inflation.