In 2023, the Household Finance and Consumption Survey of euro area countries organised by the European Central Bank (ECB) will be conducted for the fourth time.
In Latvia, the survey will be conducted by Latvijas Banka in cooperation with the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB). About 3000 households to be randomly selected will receive a joint letter from Latvijas Banka and the CSB inviting them to participate in the survey. The CSB interviewers intend to hold interviews from 12 July to 22 December 2023. After that, the survey data will be processed and compiled for the transmission to the ECB.
Latvijas Banka is encouraging the sampled households to participate in the survey: each respondent's contribution to the survey is highly significant, as the random sampling method means that each of the sampled households represents many similar households. Moreover, the sample has been composed so as to ensure an adequate representation of all regions of Latvia. At the same time, the maximum number of the households that participated in the 2020 survey will be involved in this survey in order to assess changes in the financial structure and consumption of households over a longer horizon.
The survey questions can be divided into two groups: questions about the household as a whole and questions about individual household members who are at least 16 years old at the time of the survey. The questions referring to the household as a whole concern the household's main dwelling, other real estate owned, liabilities, commercial activities, valuable gifts, overall consumption and savings, whereas questions relating to individual members of the household cover demographic data, information on the current employment, future pension entitlements and income of household members.
The survey data are used to study the economic behaviour of households as well as to analyse the impact of macroeconomic and policy decisions on households. For instance, the factors determining household borrowing, accumulation of savings, risk appetite and commercial activities will be analysed.
Particular attention is paid to ensuring confidentiality and the protection of personal data. Fair and lawful processing of personal data, solely for the defined purpose and to the extent necessary, will be ensured in compliance with the relevant Latvian and European Union legislation. After the interviews, the replies of the households will be anonymised, so that to strip them from all information about the respondent's first name, surname, telephone number and the household's address. Additional anonymisation of individual datasets will also be performed.
The compiled data from the previous household survey waves in Latvia are available on Latvijas Banka's website under the "Statistics" section (https://www.bank.lv/en/statistics/stat-data/hfcs). At the same time, the results of euro area countries, including Latvia, are published on the European Central Bank's website (http://www.ecb.int/home/html/researcher_hfcn.en.html).
The significance of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey is confirmed by the wide participation of countries therein. Although the survey is only mandatory for the euro area member states, they were also joined by Hungary, Czechia and Croatia in the previous survey wave of 2020. Overall, about 80 thousand households were interviewed across the European Union.