Calculation of prices during the COVID-19 pandemic
Since April, due to the imposed quarantine, price recorders have not visited physical points of sale (shops). Usually, every month, price recorders, visiting points of sale (shops), register 85 per cent of all prices. Prices for consumer goods and services, following the suspension of the traditional price recording, have been collected applying other collection sources: information published on websites of trade or service enterprises, making telephone calls and in cooperation with trade enterprises.
In April, due to restrictions imposed on trade and service provision during the quarantine period, about 19 per cent of prices failed to be collected.
In collection of prices on websites, it was considered that a physical point of sale (shop) wherein prices used to be collected in the traditional manner should have its online shop (trading) offering population the possibility to acquire the goods, as well as register prices of those goods which were recorded last month in order to maintain change in the price for the same product (goods) and avoid the influence of changes in the quality of the product (goods). Most of the prices for clothing and footwear, furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, as well as certain recreation and miscellaneous goods were collected by applying in the above manner.
Prices for food products, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products were collected in collaboration with trade enterprises and on the basis of information available in the catalogues and on websites of such enterprises.
In April, enterprises engaged in providing personal care, sports and recreation, certain medical services were closed, air transport, package holiday services were not rendered, consequently, it was impossible to record prices of the aforementioned services. Prices were estimated taking into account the specificity of the services and applying appropriate price estimation techniques (following the Eurostat recommendations). In the Database of Indicators, groups of goods and services with lower confidence in price indices and changes will bear the corresponding mark.
According to the Eurostat recommendations, the consumer goods and services “basket” and relative weights 2020 for calculation of the consumer price index and changes in the reference year were not adjusted.