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Calculating inflation harder during the coronavirus pandemic

| Press releases

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting society in every way. Many services are no longer being purchased on the Swedish market, such as package holidays, cinema visits, and sports events. This will influence the way Statistics Sweden calculates the CPI.

The coronavirus pandemic may lead to numerous store closures and goods and services no longer being available for purchase.

A majority of the prices used in the inflation calculations (CPI and CPIF) are collected directly from enterprises or their online stores. Statistics Sweden does not currently see any risks concerning the data collection, as long as business is being conducted.

Remaining price data is collected by Statistics Sweden’s team of interviewers via visits to stores across the country. If it is not possible to carry out that collection due to new recommendations or extensive absence due to illness, Statistics Sweden will use alternative collection methods as far as possible.

Firstly, data collection relies on online collection and telephone interviews. Lastly, the price development for similar products or products that are still available on the market will be used to strengthen the data.

“The calculations will be based on collected price information as far as possible. If the number of prices for a good or service is so small that Statistics Sweden deems that the quality is insufficient, this will require further adjustments,” explains Peter Nilsson, Head of Unit at Statistics Sweden.

If some goods or services are not purchased at all, the inflation rate will be calculated based on the remaining products on the market.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on calculations of the CPI and CPIF were recently discussed by the Consumer Price Index Board. That material is available here. 

Discussion material for the Consumer Price Index Board (in Swedish)



Susanne Daregård, Press officer

+46 720 84 40 82

Peter Nilsson

+46 10 479 42 21

John Eliasson

+46 72 084 40 12