|Unit||Index 2010=100, WDASA|
|Adjustments||Working Day Adjusted and Seasonally Adjusted|
The index of selling prices in wholesale trade measures - on a representative basis - the development of prices of goods sold by wholesalers within Germany to the extent that such sales are included under wholesale, such as contracts concluded with resellers, processors or other bulk purchasers. The index combines the price developments for goods produced within the country and for those imported. Excluded are sales from producers direct to retailers or ultimate consumers. The reference value of the overall index is the total of all turnovers of wholesale trade in the base year, less retail sales and other sales not belonging to wholesale trade, and less export values. In this way, turnovers between wholesale businesses are also covered by price statistics.
The indices of selling prices in wholesale trade are used to deflate the monthly wholesale turnovers and to calculate wholesale performance at constant prices as part of national accounting. Also, the wholesale price index may be considered as a leading indicator because it indicates the price trend in upstream branches which will only later have an effect on the selling prices of buyers of the wholesale goods.
The selling prices in wholesale trade are collected monthly. The reference day of the surveys is the 5th day of the reference month. On that day (possibly shortly before or after), some 1,030 reporting units (usually wholesale businesses) are asked for the selling prices of a total of 406 representatively selected kinds of goods. Price collection is centralised, performed by the Federal Statistical Office. For the goods categories of fruit and vegetables, potatoes and animal feed, meat and livestock as well as sea fish, price quotations at important central markets and commodity exchanges are used. The index is based on a total of about 3,575 individual price series, which are presented in the form of relatives on the basis of the price situation in the base year (= 100). The prices collected monthly are transaction prices (no list or basic prices or average receipts), excluding VAT, but including any excise duties (e.g. mineral-oil tax incl. ecological tax, tobacco tax) and other legal duties (e.g. oil storage contribution for mineral oil products).
The index of selling prices in wholesale trade is calculated through the Laspeyres formula, which is generally applied in German price statistics. What is characteristic of that index type is the fact that it records the price development over time, excluding quantity changes. This is done by fixing a weighting pattern that is derived from the turnover shares of the economic branches of wholesale trade in the base year. The weights referring to the current base year will remain unchanged until the index is rebased to a new base year (about every 5 years). As regards the major steps of calculation, the index may be described as the weighted average of the figures of price change for a representative selection of goods for resale, represented with base year = 100.
The objective of the index of selling prices in wholesale trade is to measure pure price changes, which is true of all the other price indices of official statistics. This is achieved by keeping constant all factors relevant for the price level (among other things, the unit of quantity of the products and their overall quality, terms of delivery and payment). If one of those variables changes, the difference between the new price and the last price reported may contain a non-genuine price change, which will be eliminated through various quality adjustment methods.
The monthly results are published by a press release around the 10th day of the subsequent month. The press releases and the release calendar are available on the website of the Federal Statistical Office.
The index of selling prices in wholesale trade is published not only as an overall series, i.e. for the total of wholesale goods, but also by the national Classification of Economic Activities (WZ). Also, wholesale price indices are computed for waste paper and scrap metal.
Data are subject to revisions.
The wholesale price indices are calculated as index numbers with one decimal place. The figures for the reference month are final data. When changing over to a more recent base year, revision-related differences will occur due to new bases used for calculation (basket of commodities, weighting pattern, sample of reporting units).