The central bank uses statistics as a tool for the fulfilment of its tasks and, at the same time, as a language to inform the world about developments in the Latvian economy, particularly in the financial sector.
Statistics compiled by Latvijas Banka have become an important source of information for public and international institutions, as well as for the widest range of users of statistics in Latvia and abroad. This set of data helps to make decisions, assess the situation and make future projections.
Statistics in the Member States of the European Union (EU) are compiled under the auspices of both the central banks and statistical authorities. This duty is performed by two EU systems, i.e. by the European System of Central Banks composed of the national central banks, including Latvijas Banka, and the European Central Bank, as well as by the European Statistical System comprised of the national statistical authorities, including the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB), and Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union.
Responsibility for statistics production is shared among institutions with due regard to their competences or expertise. Latvijas Banka collects data and compiles monetary and financial statistics, balance of payments and international investment position statistics, statistics on foreign direct investment, financial accounts, payment and payment system statistics, financial soundness indicators, as well as other statistics required for ensuring the execution of Latvijas Banka's tasks stipulated by the Law on Latvijas Banka.
Harmonised statistics are an important precondition for the implementation of a single policy by the Eurosystem comprised of the national central banks of the EU countries, which have introduced the single currency, and the ECB. They are also a significant prerequisite for ensuring the uniformity of the Eurosystem's monetary, economic and structural analysis (more details on the use of statistics in maintaining price stability and enhancing economic growth). The most important aspects to be harmonised are the range of the data to be compiled, the concepts and definitions used, coverage of data and recording principles.
The national central bank of each Member State has to provide quality statistical information to the ECB in due time. The national central banks themselves are participants of the financial system and are able to collect and compile the necessary data in the most professional manner. Furthermore, in relation to the expected development in the field of statistics in the central banks, there are several factors suggesting that the range of statistical data will expand and methodology will improve. These factors are: development of the financial market, the emergence of new types of financial agreements and transactions, as well as globalisation and harmonisation trends.
Key areas of statistics at Latvijas Banka:
- Financial and monetary statistics is one of the fields of statistics in which Latvijas Banka has been operating for the longest period of time. Specialists of Latvijas Banka not only identify the range of respondents, develop methodology, collect, process and compile data on a regular basis but also carry out research for the ECB. The research is usually organised to obtain information on possibilities to collect new data, new financial instruments or transactions and to address methodological issues at the EU level.
- Latvijas Banka also compiles one of the most important national statistical summaries, i.e. the national balance of payments. Combined with other statistical domains, it allows assessing the national macroeconomic situation. In 2000, this duty was taken over from the CSB, as not only quarterly indicators but also those of the monthly balance of payments are necessary for monetary policy purposes. It is the central bank that succeeds best in ensuring data collection from the banking sector, which has all the necessary monthly data on incoming and outgoing external payments made by enterprises via bank accounts, as well as on transactions of the banks themselves.
- Latvijas Banka also draws up quarterly financial accounts. The financial accounts are a component of the system of national accounts reflecting financial relations among various sectors of the Latvian national economy, as well as between Latvia and the rest of the world.
Although the ECB is the most important user of the data compiled by Latvijas Banka, statisticians of the central bank continue to cooperate also with other institutions both in Latvia (the CSB and Financial and Capital Market Commission) and abroad (the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bank for International Settlements and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)). This collaboration has been long and successful, e.g. cooperation with the IMF started in May 1992 when Latvia joined the IMF and Latvijas Banka started to transmit bank and monetary statistics to the IMF. In 1999, Latvijas Banka commenced participation in the IMF Special Data Dissemination Standard, complying with the requirements of the timeliness, quality and data compilation process.