Brexit: adjustments of the statistics

On 31 January 2020, 24:00 CET, the United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the European Union (EU). Therefore all statistical aggregates referring to the EU as a whole have been redefined, with consequences both for the publication of EU aggregates and for the provision of counterparty information, e.g. in banking statistics.

There are two ways of dealing with a change in composition resulting from entry or exit of a country. First, applying a "changing composition" concept, a time series reflects the composition of the aggregate at the date to which the observation refers. Second, the "fixed composition" concept keeps the composition of an aggregate fixed over time when presenting a statistical series. The data on aggregates are presented based on the new composition, even for past periods when the composition of the EU was different. Thus, applying the fixed composition concept, the evolution over time is isolated from the change in composition.

Monetary and financial statistics, as well as securities statistics, are generally based on the “changing composition” concept, i.e. they reflect the euro area composition in the reference period. This approach is also applied to euro area counterparts; the term “EU countries outside the euro area” thus refers to EU 28 before Brexit and will refer to EU 27 after Brexit. The new composition will be visible in statistics in reporting period Q1 2020 for end of quarter positions and in reporting period 2020 for end of year positions.

For the balance of payments and international investment position statistics (b.o.p./i.i.p.), aggregates are calculated based on the “fixed composition” concept. Therefore, in b.o.p./i.i.p. statistics new aggregates vis-à-vis other EU countries (on the basis of “EU 27 – excluding UK”) will be released from reference period February 2020 (release date April 2020). At that stage all back-data (both transactions and positions, monthly and quarterly data) will be recalculated using the new composition of the EU as a reference.

Please find further information under this link, as well as in specific annotations to the statistics.