The HICP are designed expressly for international comparisons of consumer price inflation across EU Member States. these harmonized inflation figures will be used to inform decisions on which Member States meet price stability convergence criterion for EMU. However, they are not intended to replace existing national Consumer Price Indices (CPIs).
The coverage of the indices is based on the EU classification COICOP (classification of individual consumption by purpose). As a result a number of CPI series are excluded from the HICP, most particularly owner occupiers housing and council tax. However, the HICP includes series for personal computers, new cars and air fairs.