Statistics: numerical facts about the economy
In addition to Statistics Estonia, Eesti Pank is another agency that produces official statistics in Estonia. The statistics of Eesti Pank enable the Estonian economy, incl. the impact of economic decisions, to be analysed. Without the statistics of Eesti Pank, it would be impossible to analyse monetary policy and assess financial stability and risks. Eesti Pank mostly produces external and financial sector statistics and quarterly financial accounts for the national economy. The statistics must comply with six internationally recognised statistics principles: professional independence; impartiality; objectivity; reliability; statistic confidentiality; and cost effectiveness.
External sector statistics include the country’s balance of payments, accounting for its external debt and its international investment position as well as an overview of its reserves. The main aim of these statistics is to provide an overview of the economic relations of Estonian residents with the world. For instance, the quarterly balance of payments represents the transactions entered into between Estonian residents and parties all over the world within the quarter. The investment position shows the residents’ receivables from and payables to parties around the world as at the end of the quarter.
Financial sector statistics reflect, in detail, transactions entered into via payment and settlement systems and the activities of credit institutions, leasing companies and savings and loan associations. These statistics are characterised by a huge amount of information about companies, clients and transaction counterparties. For example, the statistics of credit institutions (just like the statistics of leasing companies) provide a detailed overview of how many deposits are entrusted to credit institutions by various client groups and how many loans have been raised from credit institutions. However, the payment statistics outline payments made by type and client groups as well as the quantity of various bank cards issued and the number of ATMs, sales terminals accepting bank cards in Estonia etc.
Financial accounts are accounts recording the national economy that create a full view of how many financial assets and liabilities are held by various economic sectors and the type of these assets and liabilities. Accounts reflect the status of assets and liabilities at the end of the quarter and transactions entered into within the quarter (on a net basis). The external and financial sector statistics constitute significant input in compiling the financial accounts of the national economy.
In addition to domestic users, the statistics produced by Eesti Pank are required by a number of international organisations (e.g. the European Central Bank, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank). Companies can also use the statistics in making investment decisions. As the statistics are produced in accordance with international statistical standards, this guarantees the comparability of the statistical data and enables companies to easily gain an overview of the wealth, competition and other features of different states
In producing statistics, Eesti Pank tries to be as efficient as possible and avoid the enhancement of the reporting burden of those providing data. Therefore, available register data are increasingly used and cooperation activities are carried out with other authorities collecting statistical and supervisory information. For instance, Eesti Pank enjoys close cooperation with Statistics Estonia, the Financial Supervision Authority, the Estonian Central Depository for Securities, the Tax and Customs Board and the Commercial Register. Eesti Pank also collects data itself from more than 3000 companies. As the Estonian financial sector is extremely concentrated and part of the data needed to produce financial sector statistics is available via the Financial Supervision Authority, ca 98% of interviewed companies are non-financial ones. The data of non-financial companies are predominantly used to produce external sector statistics.
All of the statistical data of Eesti Pank forms part of the statistics of the European Union and euro area compiled by Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Union) and the European Central Bank. This means that Eesti Pank – like any other national central bank in the European Union – produces statistics for the European Central Bank and European Union using a uniform methodology.
The modern solutions that Eesti Pank implements in collecting data and compiling statistics makes us the central bank with the smallest Statistics Department of any Member State of the European Union.