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STATISTICS

HARMONISED INDEX OF CONSUMER PRICES (HICP): NOVEMBER 2020

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Statistiche-NSO-2-6Main points ● In November 2020, the annual rate of infl ation as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) was 0.2 per cent, down from 0.6 per cent in October 2020 (Table 2). ● The twelve-month moving average rate for November stood at 0.9 per cent (Table 2). ● The largest upward impact on annual infl ation was measured in the Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages Index, while the largest downward impact was recorded in the Clothing and Footwear Index (Chart 2).

Overview The HICP measures monthly price changes in the cost of purchasing a representative basket of consumer goods and services. The HICP is calculated according to rules specified in a series of European Union Regulations that were developed by Eurostat in conjunction with the EU Member States. The HICP is used to compare inflation rates across the European Union. A closely related measure of price movements is the Retail Price Index (RPI). For a description of the differences between the HICP and the RPI, refer to Section 5.2 of this news release.

Each monthly HICP News Release includes three different measures of inflation:

The annual inflation rate measures average price changes between the reference month and the same month of the previous year. Although responsive to recent changes in price levels, this measure can be influenced by one-off effects in either month. The monthly inflation rate compares price changes between the reference month and the previous month. This measure can be highly influenced by seasonal effects. The 12-month moving average rate overcomes the volatility of the above two rates by comparing the average of the latest 12 indices to the average of the previous 12 indices. This measure is less sensitive to temporary changes in prices.

Price changes and effects on inflation

Table 1 shows that the highest annual inflation rates in November 2020 were registered in the following divisions: Education (4.8 per cent) and Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages (2.6 per cent). On the other hand, the lowest annual inflation rates were registered in Clothing and Footwear (-5.0 per cent) and Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance (-1.6 per cent).

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