Swiss Consumer prices increased by 0.2 % in January 2022

The consumer price index (CPI) increased by 0.2% in January 2022 compared with the previous month, reaching 101.7 points (December 2020 = 100). Inflation was +1.6 % compared with the same month of the previous year. These are the results of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

The 0.2% increase compared with the previous month is due to several factors including rising prices for gas. Hotel accommodation also recorded a price increase, as did second-hand cars. In contrast, prices for hire of private means of transport and clothing and footwear decreased, the latter due to seasonal sales.

Reweighted basket of goods

In order to take into account the changing consumption habits of private households, the basket of goods has been reweighted annually since December 2001. The household budget survey that is carried out every year is used as the basis for the weighting of the basket of goods. The consumer expenditure of 3400 private households drawn at random from the sample frame for personal and household surveys is surveyed in detail and extrapolated to give an average expenditure structure.

In general, the weights of the basket of goods were based on the results of the household budget survey from the penultimate year, which would then have been indexed with the price development until December of the previous year. There were however significant changes to the consumption expenditure of private households in the two years 2020 and 2021 due to the corona crisis. Given these circumstances, it is not possible to estimate a consumer structure for December of the previous year using the survey results from the penultimate year.

That is why an up to the minute evaluation of the HBS was carried out for the weighting of the 2021 basket of goods. Exactly the same procedure is being carried out for the 2022 weighting. For this reason, the 2021 CPI weighting has been drawn from the survey results for the months December 2020 to November 2021. This is an evaluation using data as at the end of December 2021. The evaluation includes a sufficient number of responses from the 12-month period covered and provides qualitatively good results. It therefore serves as an up-to-date data basis for the 2022 CPI weighting which depicts important shifts in consumer spending in 2021.

For the sectors in which the survey does not provide enough information, additional industry and market research data is drawn upon as it is every year. This concerns in particular expenditure on energy, tobacco, gambling and new cars.

In 2021, the CPI weights were again subject to substantial shifts in comparison with the previous year. The weight of the main group transport rose from 10.0 % to 11.05 % (+1.0 percentage points), that of the main group furnishings and ongoing housekeeping rose from 3.8 % to 4.5 % (+0.7 percentage points). Households continued to spend an increasing share on food (+0.7 percentage points) and on fast food (+0.5 percentage points). On the other hand, the CPI weight of restaurants and cafés fell markedly from 4.4 % to 2.7 % (–1.7 percentage points), that of package holidays fell again from 1.1 % to 0.5 % (–0.6 percentage points). The weight of health care (–0.9 percentage points) and rents (–0.5 percentage points) also fell, but were still considerably higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP)

In January 2022, the Swiss Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) stood at 101.69 points (base 2015 = 100). This corresponds to a rate of change of +0.2 % compared with the previous month and of +1.4 % compared with the same month of the previous year.

The HICP is a supplementary indicator for inflation based on a harmonised method across EU member countries. It allows the comparison of inflation in Switzerland with that in European countries.

The European Statistical Office, Eurostat, publishes the results according to a predefined calendar. The FSO publishes a comparison between inflation in Switzerland and Europe on the webpage http://www.ipch.bfs.admin.ch. A methodological note, the 2022 weighting of the Swiss standard HICP basket and the FSO News publication on the HICP are also available on this page. Eurostat will publish the HICP indices for other European countries for January 2022 on 23 February 2022. You will find the HICP results on the Eurostat website at the following address: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/hicp

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