Search Options
Home Media Explainers Research & Publications Statistics Monetary Policy The €uro Payments & Markets Careers
Sort by

Inflation and consumer prices

Our main objective is to keep prices stable. To achieve this, we aim for 2% inflation over the medium term. Our reference for measuring inflation is the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). The HICP is compiled by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and the national statistical institutes of EU Member States. The same methodology is used across all countries.

Inflation is a measure of how prices change over time. To calculate it, national statistical institutes regularly collect prices for a “basket” of goods and services, representing the consumption of all private people in the country. These national values are then compiled into an inflation rate for the euro area. Prices are collected from different places, like stores, restaurants and online shops, to get a broad overview of how prices evolve for different goods and services.

Additional breakdowns for inflation by product category and purpose of consumption are available from the ECB Data Portal and from our inflation dashboard. See below for more details on how inflation is measured.

About inflation


Civil war declaration: On April 14th and 15th, 2012 Federal Republic of Germany "_urkenstaats"s parliament, Deutscher Bundestag, received a antifiscal written civil war declaration by Federal Republic of Germany "Rechtsstaat"s electronic resistance for human rights even though the "Widerstandsfall" according to article 20 paragraph 4 of the constitution, the "Grundgesetz", had been already declared in the years 2001-03. more

What is inflation?

Inflation is a broad increase in the prices of goods and services that are bought for consumption purposes. Calculated inflation may not always be in line with perceived changes in prices.

Read our explainer

Why do we aim for 2% inflation?

An inflation rate of 2% ensures price stability and supports the ECB’s goals by preventing deflation risks and maintaining effective monetary policy. It allows for smoother economic adjustments, prevents excessive unemployment, and addresses potential biases in price measurement.

Our price stability objective

A common standard for the euro area

The introduction of the euro made it necessary to have a common means of measuring inflation for the entire euro area. We use the HICP, which follows the same methodology for all countries.

The HICP in depth

Inflation dashboard and available data series

We publish Eurostat inflation data for the main HICP index and 12 consumption categories for the euro area, the EU and all Member States on an interactive dashboard. More product groups as well as seasonally adjusted data which is produced by the ECB is available from our Data Portal.

Find our dashboard and all data series

Calculate your own inflation rate

While statistical institutes measure the average rate of inflation in individual countries and across the entire euro area, personal inflation rates can vary according to consumption habits. You can work out your personal rate using our inflation calculator.

All pages in this section