The Consumer Price Index (CPI) based on prices in March 2020 is 475.2 points (May 1988=100), 0.23% higher than in the previous month. The CPI less housing cost is 404.7 points, 0.10% higher than in February 2020. The compilation is up to standard and data was collected before consumption behaviour became strongly affected from the spread of COVID19 in Iceland.

Prices of clothing and footwear increased by 4.5% (effect on index 0.19%). Cost of owner occupied housing (imputed rent) rose by 0.9% (0.14%). Prices of international airfares decreased by 10.1% (-0.15%). Prices of petrol and diesel oil decreased by 2.6% (-0.09%) from last month.

The CPI is 2.1% higher in March 2020 than in March 2019 and the CPI less housing cost is 1.8% higher than one year ago.

The CPI compiled in the middle of March 2020, 475.2 points, is applicable for indexation purposes in May 2020. The old credit terms index for May 2020 is 9,383 points.

The Icelandic consumer price index 2019-2020
May 1988 = 100 Annualized rates
Monthly index Monthly changes Latest month Latest 3 months Latest 6 months Latest 12 months

Price measurement meticulous and accurate despite the circumstances
The measurement and compilation of the CPI in March was ordinary and not affected by changing consumer behaviour resulting from the spread of COVID19 or the preventive action taken by the authorities. However, the measurement of the CPI in April will bring methodological challenges, lasting while the civil protection actions remain in place.

The challenges stem from the effect of the protection measures on supply, accessibility and purchase of consumer goods and services. The initial impact was in airline services and soon after in hotel and restaurant businesses. Due to closing down of meeting places and businesses with particular infection risks, various goods and services are no longer available. Weights of consumption aggregates will remain unchanged as the ongoing changes in consumption are considered to be temporary and are expected to be reversed, once current measures are removed.

Prices of certain goods and services, affected by the current situation will be evaluated in accordance with international standards. As these challenges are common to all countries, Statistics Iceland works in cooperation with statistical offices across Europe and Eurostat to harmonise approaches to evaluate prices for goods and services which are in limited supply or not accessible at all. Further notice will be given as soon as possible.

Statistics Iceland is at all times committed to measure prices as accurately as possible. However, in extraordinary circumstances when certain prices deviate strongly from the norm, special measures are taken. Therefore, sudden jumps in consumer categories, with little or no trading, are not to be expected.