With the release of consumer price indices for January 2011 (scheduled for 4 February 2011 for provisional data and 23 February for final data), in addition to the usual changes arising from the updating of the basket of goods and services, survey schedules and the weighting system, the following innovations will be introduced:
Updating of the reference base to 2010 for consumer price indices for the whole nation (NIC) and for blue- and white-collar worker households (FOI)
Consumer price indices for the whole nation (NIC, intera collettività nazionale) and for blue- and white-collar worker households (FOI, famiglie di operai e impiegati) will be published with 2010=100 as a reference base. Updating of the reference base will apply to both national indices and those calculated on territorial basis. This change improves the accuracy of measures of inflation.
The HICP index, in contrast, will continue to be calculated and released with 2005=100 as a reference base, as established by the Regulation (EC) no. 1708/2005 of 20 October 2005.
Adoption of a new, more detailed classification scheme for consumer spending
A new, more detailed consumer spending classification scheme will be adopted for all three indicators of the system of consumer price indices. The new scheme takes into account, with some adaptations, the proposed revision of the COICOP classification (Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose) currently being discussed in Europe for disaggregation levels lower than Classes level. With the introduction of two additional lower levels of disaggregation, the scheme is structured in five levels. The fifth level, called Consumption Segment, takes as reference the definitions of Regulation (EC) no. 1334/2007 of 14 November 2007. In that occasion, furthermore, level names will bring into line with the international names.
The new classification scheme has the aim of raising the quality of statistical information on consumer prices with regard to its relevance and accuracy. It will make a greater information detail available on consumer prices.
Adoption of a new method for the treatment of seasonal products
A new survey and calculation method for price indices of seasonal products will be adopted, in compliance with Regulation (EC) no. 330/2009 of 22 April 2009, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of seasonal products in the HICP. This methodological innovation will also be introduced for the NIC and FOI indices.