Statistics co-operation and standards

Statistics at the European level

The ECB works closely with the EU institutions. Responsibility for statistics at the European level is shared between the ECB and the European Commission through Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office.

The exact division of labour is laid out in the following documents:

ESS - European Statistical System

The statistical function of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Statistical System (ESS – a partnership involving Eurostat and national statistical institutes) cooperate on both operational and strategic levels.

More information:
European statistics: cooperation between the European System of Central Banks and the European Statistical System.

Other international organisations

The ECB also maintains close relationships with other international organisations in statistical matters. Wherever possible, ECB statistics conform to international standards.


The international statistical standards are a globally agreed set of recommendations on how to measure domestic and external economic developments.

The main economic indicators, such as GDP, the current account balance, external trade, net international investment position, government deficit, debt indicators and the household savings ratio, are determined based on these standards.

There are two main standards:

  • System of National Accounts (SNA) 2008 – prepared by Eurostat, the IMF, the OECD, the UN and the World Bank. The European counterpart of the SNA 2008 is the European System of Accounts (ESA) 2010. In addition to legally binding methodological standards, the ESA 2010 determines the national accounts datasets that EU Member States must submit to Eurostat (ESA 2010 transmission programme)
  • the IMF’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (sixth edition, BPM6)

The SNA 2008 and the BPM6 are fully consistent in terms of methodological requirements and sector classifications, making it possible to analyse the interaction of resident sectors with the rest of the global economy.

Global standards for granular data

Joint statement by the European Central Bank, Bank of England and the Office of Financial Research on the growing need for granular data standards, and ongoing international cooperation in this field: