PRESS RELEASE

Review of the ECB’s statistical requirements

17 December 2004

The European Central Bank (ECB) is today releasing a report entitled “Review of the requirements in the field of General Economic Statistics”. This report sets out its needs regarding euro area economic statistics, in particular data on prices and costs, national accounts, the labour market, short-term indicators of output and demand, and business and consumer surveys. These statistics are, in most cases, produced by Eurostat and national statistical institutes. The report updates a similar publication released in August 2000.

Since the previous report considerable progress has been made. Various ECB requirements for economic statistics have been met and further important initiatives in this area which are supported by the ECB are under way. These include enhancements of the legal framework for euro area quarterly accounts for institutional sectors and for short-term indicators; adoption, improved availability and timeliness of the Principal European Economic Indicators; better coordination of national and European release and revision policies for these indicators; and more effective and efficient methods for compiling euro area statistics. Yet, the current report advocates a stronger focus on compiling timely and reliable euro area aggregates and includes a proposal to coordinate the release and revision policy for national general economic statistics with the needs for euro area aggregates.

The report aims to strike a balance between the ECB’s requirements on the one hand and the statistics producers’ need to set priorities. As a consequence, the stated requirements for the euro area as a whole have typically been derived using the statistical standards achieved by the most advanced EU Member States. The high timeliness and coverage standards achieved in other economic areas are seen as a longer-term aim, also bearing in mind the specific institutional arrangements in the EU.

The report is available on the ECB’s website at http://www.ecb.europa.eu. The report (published today in English) will be available in other official Community languages in due course. Hard copies can also be obtained by writing to the ECB’s Press and Information Division at the address below.

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    Review of the requirements in the field of general economic statistics (pdf)
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