The Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN), which was established in December 2006, consists of survey specialists, statisticians and economists from the ECB, the national central banks of the Eurosystem and a number of national statistical institutes. The HFCN conducts the Eurosystem’s Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), which collects household-level data on households’ finances and consumption. The HFCN plans to make anonymised data available to the research community.
The HFCN has been tasked by the Governing Council of the ECB with:
The HFCS covers the following household characteristics at micro level:
In view of the considerable cultural and national differences in household-level wealth and debt between Euro area countries, there needs to be some flexibility in the formulation of the questions for individual countries in order to obtain comparable data. Countries produce harmonised output (i.e. survey data), but do not necessarily use identical questionnaires. However, a common template questionnaire serves as a benchmark for countries’ questionnaires, as well as establishing the output desired.
The HFCS questionnaire consists of two main parts: