Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic

11/29/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2022 00:34

Meeting of the chairmen of V4 statistical offices in Bratislava

The heads of the V4 statistical offices agreed on cooperation in the area of inflation and its measurement

The leaders of the national statistical offices of the V4 countries confirmed the common procedure for improving the quality of official statistics and agreed on the exchange of professional experiences on demography, using geospatial information and new data sources in price statistics.

The highest representatives of the national statistical offices of the Vysegrad Group countries signed the Annex to the Memorandum of Cooperation and Understanding at a joint meeting in Bratislava. It specifies the content of exchange of experiences of the statistical experts for the period of the Slovak V4 Presidency.

The heads of the national statistical offices from Hungary, Gabriella Vukovich, from the Czech Republic, Marek Rojíček, from Poland, Dominik Rozkrut, and from Slovakia, Peter Peťko, agreed on common topics of cooperation and professional workshops, which will be realized in the first half of 2023.

"The cooperation of the V4 statistical offices significantly contributes to an improvement of the quality of statistical information within the EU, which is the basis for political and professional decisions of different authorities. However, the V4 countries represent more than 14% of the EU population and more than 7% of its economic performance," said Peter Peťko, the President of the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.

Based on the agreement, experts of the Vysegrad Group will exchange experiences on modernization of price statistics, also on new European rules for population statistics and using geospatial information in producing agricultural statistics.

New data sources used to calculate the inflation rate

The inflation is currently a highly topical issue throughout Europe, so the cooperation between the V4 countries will also aim at this area. The current price growth in the V4 countries is among the relatively highest among the EU Member States. Concerning the inflation measured by the same EU methodology1), all four V4 countries recorded a price growth higher than the EU average of 11.5% in October 2022. The Slovak Republic recorded an increase in consumer prices at the level of 14.5%, the Czech Republic 15.5%, Poland 16.4% and Hungary reached 21.9% inflation.

"The cooperation of our experts to introduce more modern online methods into the production process of price statistics will contribute to an improvement of data on price indices and inflation rate," added P. Peťko.

It will be an exchange of experiences on using new sources of data on consumer prices, such as data obtained from the so-called "web scraping" or information from scanners. Data obtained from retail chains2) and from e-shop websites or data obtained from different price comparison platforms on the Internet will be processed. They will provide statisticians with more information about prices, but also quantities and characteristics of goods sold. New methods will gradually replace the traditional field data collection, which is one of the most expensive statistical surveys.

Exchange stays for professionals and students

Cooperation between the V4 countries in the field of professional education and internships for students and those interested in various topics of the national statistics was also discussed more intensively. Currently, all four statistical offices offer cross-border internship programmes for university students that are part of the network of the European Master in Official Statistics (EMOS).

In addition, the Slovak Republic also promotes other traineeships and professional practice, which would be aimed at preparing students from universities interested in working in the field of the national statistics.

The highest representatives of the V4 statistical offices meet regularly once a year, always on occasion of handing over the V4 presidency. Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are united not only by common history, geographical proximity and current economic ties, but also by active cooperation and the exchange of experiences of the national statistical offices.

In the second quarter of 2022, the volume of gross domestic product at constant prices (not seasonally adjusted) of the V4 countries represented 7.1% of the total volume of GDP produced in the European Union (EU-27). At the beginning of 2021, 63.7 million people lived in the V4 countries, which is a 14.3% share of the total number of the EU population.

Slovakia is holding the V4 presidency from July 2022 to 30 June 2023, and it is the smallest V4 country by area and population.

  • 1) harmonized index of consumer prices (harmonized inflation) represents the use of the same methodology and professional procedures (legislation) for measuring inflation in all EU countries
  • 2) it relates to transaction data obtained by scanning barcodes of goods in retail establishments
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