Household Budget Survey (HBS) – Methodology since 2017


Household Budget Survey (HBS) has a long tradition in the Czech Republic.The Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) has been running this annual whole-year survey since 1957. Selection of households for HBS had been done using quota sampling technique till 2016.

A new model of HBS was implemented for harmonizing national HBS with international methodology. Considering the survey topics, shortening of the interview and financial costs, the option of integrating HBS into European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) was chosen as the best. For participation in HBS, only households which were randomly selected for EU-SILC can be interviewed.  The survey participation of the given household can possibly be repeated next year in a different reference period.

HBS starts in every household with a short introductory interview. The questions are on household composition, dwelling, household equipment and household farming.

Household expenditure data is kept in Diaries for a period of 8 consecutive weeks (4 weeks twice). There are plastic envelopes in the Diary where receipts can be put to save the household’s time and energy. The expenditures for which there is no receipt (or its copy) are written down in the Diary manually. There are parts of the Diary reserved for regular money expenditures (for example on housing, education, transport, health) and food acquired from own farming (for example eggs, potatoes, fruit, vegetables, meat).

For its participation in HBS, the household will receive a financial reward and a small promotion gift.

The introductory HBS interview is CAPI (the interviewer runs an electronic questionnaire on a tablet) or sometimes PAPI (the interviewer uses a paper questionnaire the data of which he enters electronically). After receiving the Diaries, specialized workers of the CZSO enter and code (COICOP classification) the items of both the receipts and Diary forms using a computer program.

HBS monitors expenditure and provides information on its value and structure of consumption expenditure of private households. The survey results are published as yearly figures. Data on consumption expenditure patterns in households of various type cannot be obtained from other sources. The survey is also useful for measuring impact of various market factors (e.g. supply and demand, price change) on expenditure structure and consumption habits of households. Primarily, the results of HBS serve as a basis for assessing social and economic situation in the Czech Republic. The CZSO utilizes them internally (construction of the consumer basket during periodical consumer price index revisions, an auxiliary data source for the household sector of national accounts statistics, etc.) and for international comparisons.

The object of HBS is not short term (quarterly) statistics but the structure of household expenditures (expenditures on food, housing, energy, household equipment, health, transport, education, leisure time etc.). Due to major changes in methodology, the HBS time series was discontinued in 2016. Starting in 2017, a new time series ensued.