The aim of the international price comparison is to produce purchasing power parities. Purchasing power parity is an exchange rate by which the prices of commodity baskets in two countries are made equal in a common currency. Purchasing power parity measures the value of the currency of a national economy on the basis of the volume of goods and services that can be purchased with it. This produces a clearer perception of the per capita output of the national economy than could be obtained by just converting gross domestic product or (usually) its value into euros or US dollars.Consumer prices are collected six times in three years for the international prices comparison. The price surveys are grouped as follows: Food, beverages and tobaccoClothing and footwearDomestic appliances and other household commoditiesMotor vehicles, restaurants and hotelsServicesHealth care and furnishingsIn addition, prices for machinery and equipment are collected every two years for price comparisons of investment commodities. The next collection of price data for this group is due in 2013.During calendar year 2012, prices are collected from April to June for food, beverages and tobacco and from October to December for clothing and footwear.
Price data are collected mainly from retail outlets in the Helsinki, Vantaa and Espoo areas. The outlets vary randomly by survey group. They comprise stores of different sizes and types. Depending on survey, altogether approximately 2,000 to 5,000 price data items are collected, in other words around 4,000 to 10,000 items per year. Around 200 price data items are collected for machinery and equipment. Statistics Finland’s statistical interviewers collect the prices either by visiting the stores or by telephone in connection with the collection of data on prices of services, for example. In addition, some data are collected by mail or email.
The Statistics Act obliges Statistics Finland to treat the provided data as confidential. The collected data are used only for statistical or research purposes. Outlet-specific data are not released to third parties in identifiable form. The data are only published as index format statistics at product group level. The data concerning an individual outlet or product cannot be identified. The data supply obligation is based on the Finnish Statistics Act.
Last updated 17.5.2013