Production and usage of European statistics by the European system of central banks
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The availability, timeliness and consistency of official monetary, financial and other economic statistics is of paramount importance for the decision-making of the ECB. The ECB is the main user of its own euro area statistics, as they provide the basis for an effective analysis of the monetary and economic situation and for a well-founded assessment of future prospects. Moreover, the presentation of (relevant) data is essential when communicating the ECB monetary policy analysis and the decisions taken. Besides, euro area statistics contribute to fulfilling many other Eurosystem functions (market operations, payment systems, contribution to financial stability, research, international relations, etc.) and serve users such as financial market analysts, academics and the public at large. The ECB is also using heavily the statistics produced by other institutions – predominantly by Eurostat - namely the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP, used by the ECB to monitor price stability), Gross Domestic Product (GDP), labour markets statistics consistent with national accounts and short-term statistics. Given the ECB’s dual role as producer and intensive user of statistics, it is very well aware of the importance of cooperation among statistical authorities. While the division of responsibilities in statistics between National Central Banks (NCBs) and National Statistical Institutes varies from country to country, the statistical work in Europe has benefited from close cooperation under a clear allocation of tasks between the ECB and Eurostat.
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