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Harmonised competitiveness indicators

The purpose of harmonised competitiveness indicators (HCIs) is to provide meaningful and comparable measures of euro area countries' price and cost competitiveness that are also consistent with the real effective exchange rates (EERs) of the euro. They are constructed using the same methodology and data sources as the euro EERs. The HCIs reflect a common understanding between the Eurosystem’s national central banks (NCBs). They complement other competitiveness indicators published by some NCBs, which may follow different methodologies and, in some cases, use different price and cost measures in order to account for the specific circumstances in their countries.

The nominal HCIs of a country or currency area aim to track changes in the value of that country's currency relative to the currencies of its principal trading partners.

The real HCIs aim to assess a country's (or currency area's) price or cost competitiveness relative to its principal competitors in international markets. They are the nominal HCIs deflated by consumer price indices (CPIs), producer price indices (PPIs), GDP deflators and unit labour costs for the total economy (ULCT).

The HCIs of a euro area country based on consumer price indices, producer price indices, GDP deflators, and on unit labour costs are calculated against four groups of trading partners:

  • vis-à-vis the other 19 euro area countries;
  • vis-à-vis the other 19 euro area countries and the group of 12 trading partners, which comprises Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States;
  • vis-à-vis the other 19 euro area countries and the group of 18 trading partners, which comprises the group of 12 plus Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania;

The HCIs based on consumer prices and GDP deflators are additionally calculated

  • vis-à-vis the other 19 euro area countries and the group of 41 trading partners, which comprises the group of 18 plus Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.