What is the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS)?

The HFCS is a statistical survey conducted in the euro area countries by collecting and compiling data on the real assets, financial assets, debt, income and consumption of households. The HFCS is carried out by the European Central Bank and the national central banks of the EU Member States. In order to ensure the cross-country comparability of data and gain a uniform understanding on the situation in each euro area country, the HFCS is carried out in accordance with the methodology of the European Central Bank (available at: ECB HFCN).

How often is the HFCS conducted?

The HFCS is conducted once in three years. The first HFCS took place in 2010 and 2011, with approximately 62 thousand households in 15 euro area countries participating in the survey. The second HFCS was carried out in 2014, and 18 euro area countries (including Latvia), and Hungary and Poland took part in the survey. During this HFCS, data from about 84 thousand households, including 1 202 households in Latvia, was collected.

Who organised the HFCS in Latvia?

In Latvia, the HFCS was conducted by Latvijas Banka in cooperation with the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia which ensured the collection of the HFCS data and the use of the administrative data.

Which households did participate in the HFCS?

The HFCS was carried out using the sampling method and the sample was obtained by randomly selecting addresses. Broader representation was ensured for households with higher income. The HFCS data was collected on site, with the aid of the CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing).

What sort of questions were asked during the HFCS?

The HFCS questions can be divided into two groups: questions about the household in general and questions about each member of the household who is at least 16 years old at the time of the HFCS. The household was asked general questions about its main residence, other real estate property owned, debt, commercial activities, valuable gifts, overall consumption and savings. Questions about each member of the household provided demographic data and information on the current employment, the provision for future pensions and the income of the household members.

What are the components of the balance sheet of a household?

ASSETS

LIABILITIES

Real assets

Collateralised debt

Main residence

Mortgages on main residence

Other real estate property

Mortgages on other real estate property

Ownership of businesses where the members of the household are self-employed or have an active role in running the business

 

Vehicles

 

Valuables

 
   

Financial assets

Uncollateralised debt

Sight accounts

Overdraft debt

Savings accounts

Credit card debt

Life insurance policies

Other uncollateralised loans

Mutual funds

 

Bonds

 

Publicly traded stocks

 

Ownership of businesses, excluding businesses where the members of the household are self-employed or have an active role in running the business

 

Money owed to household

 

Voluntary pensions/whole life insurance

 

Other financial assets1

 

1 For example, options, futures, precious metals, royalties.

How is the HFCS data confidentiality ensured?

At the time of data collection, the protection of HFCS data and the anonymity of respondents was ensured by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, which was the institution ensuring data collection. The aggregation and publication of data is the responsibility of Latvijas Banka.

With particular attention to ensuring the protection of personal data, Latvijas Banka received the data collected by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia without any names and surnames of the respondents or their addresses. As a result, this personal cannot be linked to the answers provided by the respondents. Latvijas Banka publishes data compiled in a way that makes it impossible to identify individual respondents.

Where are Latvia's HFCS data published?

The compiled HFCS data on Latvia are available on Latvijas Banka's website in the section "Statistics".