Household Budget Surveys (HBSs) are national surveys mainly focusing on consumption expenditure. They are conducted in all EU Member States and their primary aim (especially at national level) is to calculate weights for the Consumer Price Index. They were launched in most EU Member States at the beginning of the 1960's and Eurostat has been collating and publishing these survey data every five years since 1988. The two last collection rounds were 2005 and 2010. Although there have been continuous efforts towards harmonisation, differences remain. The surveys vary between countries in terms of frequency, timing, content or structure. Currently data are collected for all 28 EU Member States as for Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav of Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Norway.
The household final consumption expenditure of the Countries are not comparable because the methodologies used by the Countries for data collection are not totally harmonised. The most important methodological difference in quantitative terms, but not the only one, is the owner-occupier imputed rent. The following countries have not imputed any rent for the use of owner-occupied dwellings as household main residence: United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Hungary and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Eurostat issues regularly recommendations for further harmonisation of the survey information and also produces a methodological document describing in detail and in a comparative way, all the methodological and technical aspects of the national surveys as well as a consolidated EU quality report.