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Index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production: documentation of statistics

15.8.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics describe developments in the VAT-free prices of the means of agricultural production. The index shows by how much the purchase prices of the means of agricultural production have changed compared to the index base period. The index weight structure is based on the agricultural accounts data in national accounts. The base year of the index is changed every five years, when the weight structure and product and data supplier samples are also revised.

Statistical population

The population of the index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production comprises all the farms operating in Finland that acquire means of agricultural production on the market.
 

Statistical unit

The statistical unit for the index is the means of agricultural production acquired for the farm. The reporting units include enterprises, associations and central agricultural retail corporations. Transport costs to the farm should also be included in the prices. For the time being, transport costs are not however incorporated into the prices, with a few exceptions. 
 

Unit of measure

The data for the index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production are published as index point figures. The monthly, quarterly and annual change percentages calculated on the basis of the indices are also published.
 

Base period

The base period of the index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production is 2015 (2015=100).
 

Reference period

The reference period for the index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production is a month. In addition, the preliminary data for the reference year are published in connection with the November release.
 

Reference area

The geographical reference area for the index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production is the whole of Finland.
 

Sector coverage

The index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production covers Finland as a whole with no regional division. Its field of observation is materials, services and investments consumed in agricultural production. The index does not cover wages, non-wage labour costs, rents, interest payments or purchases of land or livestock.
The commodities included in the index cover the total population. Prices of low-value products are not separately monitored but their costs are allocated to other products in the index weight structure. Therefore, the products in the index also represent, due to the weight structure, products not included in the index.
 

Time coverage

Time series are available for the latest 100=2015 indices starting from the index data for January 2000. The production of the 2010=100, 2005=100 and 2000=100 series will continue until further notice. The 2000=100 series is available at the main category level from January 1995 onwards.
The index data will not be revised at a later stage.
 

Frequency of dissemination

The statistics are published monthly. The preliminary data for the reference year are published annually in November.
 

Concepts

Annual change

Annual change is the relative change of the index in comparison with the corresponding time period one year ago (e.g. annual change of total index of consumer prices, i.e. inflation).

Base index

In the base index the price of the calculation period is always compared with the base period. In the base index weights are usually changed less often than yearly, for example, at intervals of five years.

Chain index

In the chain index the comparison takes place always between successive calculation periods. In the chain index the change in two calculation periods is used to take forward the index point figure of the desired base period. In the chain index the weights are changed in principle in each calculation period.

At times the chain index is also mentioned in such cases where the comparison period is retained fixed in comparisons within the year, but the comparison period and the weight structure of the index is changed whenever the year changes.

Farmer price

Tax-free prices paid by farmers for their means of production when arriving on farms.

Index

An index is a ratio describing the relative change in a variable (e.g. price, volume or value) compared to a certain base period (e.g. one year). The index point figure for each point in time tells what percentage the given examined variable is of its respective value or volume at the base point in time. The mean of the index point figures for the base period is 100.

Index formula

Index formula is a mathematical function by means of which an individual key figure describing change is calculated from observation values (e.g. Fischer, Laspeyres and Paasche index formulas).

Index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production

The index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production measures the price developments in the cost factors of agriculture. The index shows by how much the purchase prices of the means of agricultural production have changed when compared with the index base period.

Monthly change

Monthly change is the relative change in the index from a time period one month earlier. The change is usually expressed as a percentage.

Point figure

Point figure is a change quantity used in price indices, which expresses the price, average price or index of the comparison period relative to the price, average price or index of the base period. The point figure of the base period is usually denoted by the number hundred. For example, if the point figure for a commodity at a certain point in time is 105.3, it means that the price of that commodity has risen by 5.3 per cent from the base period.

Quarterly change

Quarterly change refers to the relative change in the index of the quarter compared with the index of the previous quarter. The change is usually expressed in percentages.

Weight structure

Describes what meaning each sub-index (commodity, employee group, etc.) belonging to the index has for total index.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

Sources of error and factors affecting the accuracy of the statistics may include the lack of price data for part of the year, inadequate handling of product quality changes in the index calculation, sampling error, lack of precision in the index weight structure in the event of major structural changes in agricultural production, coverage of price data collected from data suppliers, inaccurate data, and possible processing errors. The main production supplies and services purchased by the farmer and the main investments made have been selected in the index product basket. Therefore, not all prices are monitored, but the products selected in the product basket represent a larger product group.
 

Timeliness

The index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production is published 45 days after the end of each month. The preliminary data for the reference year are published 45 days before the end of the reference period.
 

Punctuality

The data are published on the dates specified in the release calendar.
 

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The compilation of the index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production is based on a handbook drawn up jointly by the Member States and Eurostat in order to establish uniform methods and comparable results between different countries.
 

Comparability - over time

The index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production has been calculated using Eurostat's classifications since 1990. The index series are not fully comparable with the index series currently in use, for example in terms of taxation and classifications.

At the time of Finland’s accession to the European Union in 1995, the calculation method of the index was changed to reflect Eurostat's classifications. Since the beginning of 1995, agriculture became subject to VAT, which decreased the index at the time.
 

Coherence - cross domain

The agricultural accounts of national accounts and the weight structure of the agricultural price indices are coherent, except for the on-farm consumption and the change in stocks. This is due to methodological differences in the statistics.  
 

Source data and data collections

Source data

The main data sources for the index include enterprises, associations and central agricultural retail corporations. In addition to data collected directly from enterprises, price data or index point figures from other statistics of Statistics Finland are also used in the compilation of the price indices.
 

Data collection

The index source data are collected directly from the data suppliers by means of Statistics Finland’s online survey or by telephone. Price data are also extracted from company websites. Other data sources include the producer price indices for manufactured products and for services, building cost indices, and consumer price index.  
 

Frequency of data collection

As a rule, data for the index of purchase prices of the means of agricultural production are collected on a monthly basis. Price data on products with low price fluctuations are collected quarterly, half-yearly or once a year.  
 

Methods

Data compilation

The validated price observations form the statistical data. Temporarily missing price observations are imputed on the basis of changes in the prices of other similar products, or the price of the previous month is used. In the case of permanently missing price observations, a new data supplier is selected from among operators of the same size.
The index point figures are calculated with the base strategy using the Laspeyres index formula. The observations are aggregated by weighting coefficients for products and data suppliers to higher product group levels and ultimately into the total index. The weighting coefficients are used to estimate index point figures and price changes describing the population.
 

Data validation

Reminders are actively sent for missing data. The data are checked during the compilation of the statistics at both observation and aggregate level. Significant or divergent price changes and changes in products are reviewed and additional information is requested from the data supplier, if necessary. The accuracy of the calculated index point figures is assessed by comparing them with the source data and general market information. 
 

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Economic statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation

The production of the statistics is based on a long-term ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union. The compilation of statistics is also indirectly based on the following acts: Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the economic accounts for agriculture, the act on rural business statistics (1197/1996), the act on the rural business register (1515/1994), and the Statistics Act (280/2004, amend. 361/2013).
Only the necessary data that are not available from administrative data sources are collected from data suppliers.
 

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable.

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
 

Confidentiality - data treatment

In published statistics, data are reported at a level at which data on an individual data supplier cannot be identified. In the data transmitted to Eurostat, such data are labelled as confidential.
 

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service.

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland

Data sharing

The published producer price indices are transmitted quarterly to Eurostat, which publishes them on its own website.
 

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.   

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.

The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.

Quality assessment

The quality of the index is assessed in several stages of the statistical process. Changes in unit-level data are examined monthly and the correctness of exceptional data is examined. Aggregate level data are also checked.
 

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The frameworks complement each other. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice.

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.

Further information: Publication principles for statistics

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data.
 

Statistical experts

Marianne Rautelin
Senior Statistician
029 551 3421

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