Documents 2011/31

Price index for postal and courier services

The surge in prominence of service price indices in recent decades is attributable to increasing contribution of the service sector to GDP on the one hand and the decline of industrial production as a share of GDP on the other. This made it clear that producer price indices have to be complemented by price indices for services to accurately measure the performance of a given economy. As manifestation of this realisation, Eurostat, through the regulation on short term statistics, obliges EU member states and the EEA countries to implement a set of service price indices within stated time frame. The National Accounts Division at Statistics Norway also demands the development of service price indices for more accurate price measurements.

The price index for postal and courier services, NACE Rev. 2-code 53, was developed in compliance with the requirement set by the Statistical Office of the European Community (Eurostat), regulation (EC) No 1158/2005 and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1165/98 concerning short-term statistics.

The objective of the project has been to develop a service price index for the industry that corresponds methodologically to international recommendations, and meet the National Accounts’ needs for detailed price data at product level. Moreover, the index will provide important information about market trends to market agents in the industry.

To meet the aforementioned objectives, the development process was reliant on international documents on the subject and recommendations in conjunction with studying local markets. The questionnaire is developed in close interaction with major market agents. This has been relevant in identifying the peculiarity of services rendered. Consequently, we came up with three questionnaire variants, each focusing on a specified group of services. We also have benefitted from the experience of Statistics Sweden and Statistics Finland in the development of this index.

The survey runs on quarterly basis and questionnaire is sent to a sample of respondents providing postal and courier services. The survey data goes back to the first quarter of 2006 for national postal services while available data begins in 2008 for industries involved in courier activities. The scope of this index is limited to postal and courier activities offered to the business market.

Following the Eurostat requirement, the SPPI on postal and courier activities is produced at a three-digit level. The publication includes a total index at a 2-digit level (NACE Rev. 2-code 53) and two sub-indices for postal services under universal service obligation (NACE Rev. 2-code 53.1) and other postal and courier services (NACE Rev. 2-code 53.2) respectively. The index for postal and courier services was publishes for the first time during the first quarter of 2011 with indices going back to the first quarter of 2006. Indices for courier services for 2006 and 2007 were estimated based on available data national postal services.

About the publication


Price index for postal and courier services


Fitwi Wolday, Mona I.A. Engedal

Series and number

Documents 2011/31


Statistisk sentralbyrå


Methods and documentation

ISBN (online)


ISBN (printed)


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About Documents

Documentation, descriptions of methods, models and standards are published in the series Documents.