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Matthias Burker

10 September 2015
The Bank for the Accounts of Companies Harmonized (BACH) is a free-of-charge database containing the aggregated accounting data of non-financial incorporated enterprises for, so far, 11 European countries. While the individual accounts feeding the database were originally prepared in line with national accounting standards consistent with European Accounting Directives, they have been harmonised with a view to preserving, to the greatest extent possible, the cross-country comparability of the resulting data. This article presents the methodology underpinning BACH, including the content of the database. It describes the characteristics of national samples and outlines the harmonisation process. BACH is a unique tool for analysing and comparing the financial structure and performance of firms across European countries. A simple case study is also presented in support.
JEL Code
C81 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data, Data Access
M41 : Business Administration and Business Economics, Marketing, Accounting→Accounting and Auditing→Accounting
28 January 2016
Although monetary union created the conditions for improving economic and financial integration in the euro area, in the context of the financial and sovereign crises, it has also been accompanied by the emergence of severe imbalances in savings and investment, credit and housing booms in some countries and the allocation of resources towards less productive sectors. The global financial crisis and the euro area sovereign debt crisis then led to major and abrupt adjustments as the risks posed by the large imbalances materialised. Although the institutional shortcomings in the EU that permitted the emergence of imbalances have been largely addressed since 2008, the adjustment process is not yet complete. From a macroeconomic perspective, the imbalances in the external accounts have led to the accumulation of high levels of external liabilities that need to be reduced, which, in turn, is weakening investment and therefore weighing on growth prospects and growth potential. From a macroprudential perspective, the lingering imbalances have added to systemic risk and rendered the euro area more vulnerable to risks. This Occasional Paper analyses the dynamic patterns in macroeconomic imbalances primarily from the former perspective, addressing in particular the connections between macroeconomic and sectoral adjustments of imbalances and the challenges for economic growth and performance over a longer horizon.
JEL Code
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics