ECONOMY

ECB adds to data focusing on eurozone complexity

ecb-adds-to-data-focusing-on-eurozone-complexity

The European Central Bank is about to sharpen its view on the euro area.

On November 10 the Frankfurt-based institution will publish a new quarterly report on households, bringing together data on families’ income, consumption and investment across the euro area and at country level.

That will be followed in the coming months by enhanced data on banks’ balance sheets, interest rates for new loans, money markets and payment habits.

In addition to ramping up its own research, the ECB is demanding more data from banks as part of its new supervisory and macro-prudential responsibilities.

Starting in 2018, the ECB will gather detailed information on loans to non-financial companies worth more than 25,000 euros from all banks in the euro area.

The project, known as AnaCredit, has come under criticism from lenders that have complained about the costs of reporting.

New data on interest rates will show, for example, that a new mortgage in Cyprus costs more than twice as much as in Finland, and Greek companies pay more than three times as much on their loans than firms from Luxembourg.

The new quarterly report on households will allow cross-country comparison of families’ saving and borrowing habits and gauge the effect of fluctuations in house prices.

Preliminary data disclosed by the ECB show that Greek households’ disposable income shrank an average 4 percent a year in real terms in the last four years.

It rose by almost 5 percent in the first quarter of this year in annualized terms.

[Bloomberg]