Dear Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev Dear Eurostat Director General, Mariana Koceva Dear Ambassador of the European Union, Samuel Zbogar, Dear Finance Minister, Dragan Tevdovski Dear President of MANU, Taki Fiti Dear Rector, Nikola Jankulovski Dear Dean of the Faculty of Economics in Skopje, Ljubomir Drakulevski Dear Director of the SSO, Apostol Simovski
This year we are marking the European Statistics Day, exactly ten years after the outbreak of the global crisis. Its intensity and duration were so pronounced that in the last ten years it has become usual to make almost all reviews and insights through the prism of the "pre-and post-crisis period", and this is probably not surprising given that the great shocks inevitably lead to reassessment of the conventional paradigms. The statistics as well is no exception in this respect. As the great depression highlighted the need for development of the national accounts statistics, while the Asian crisis the need to better perceive the links between the domestic financial system and capital inflows, leading to the development of several new statistical standards, the global crisis of 2008 once again brought the financial system into focus.
The crisis has clearly shown how inadequate regulation and excessive risk taking in the financial sector in developed economies can lead to unpredictable consequences in the real sector, both nationally and globally, stressing the need for a better understanding of the links between the financial and the real sector, such as and cross-border ties in the context of rising globalization. The fact that the roots of the global crisis were precisely in the financial sector suggests that most of the post-crisis needs for statistical changes touch exactly the central banks.
Although the outbreak of the global crisis can not be attributed to the lack of statistical data, however, significant statistical gaps became evident and they are best reflected through the G-20 Data Gaps initiative for identifying recommendations to fill in these statistical gaps. The recommendations are mainly located in the following key segments:
In doing so, in the basis of all these new statistical requirements, lies the need for providing granular, rather than aggregate data. The crisis has not called into question the traditional aggregate economic statistics, but has shown that it is not enough. For example, in order to understand why the huge liquidity that the ECB brought into the banking system did not lead to stronger credit growth, granular data were needed, which will enable to better understand what drives the aggregates, and thus enabling the monetary policy to be more effective.
All the statistical points indicated so far in one way or another are links within the G-20 statistical initiative, which, although not a formal framework for us, is a guideline we adhere to. In addition, this initiative is in synergy with other important international statistical standards, as well as European statistical requirements, which we, as a central bank, strive to follow. One such initiative is SDDS plus, as the third and highest pillar of the IMF's statistical standards. I can proudly say that we, as a state, have shown a willingness to join this initiative, which is currently involving only 14 countries, actively working together with the SSO and the MoF to prepare all the requested data, thus preparing for accession to this highest standard are in the final stage.
An additional aspect that brings new challenges to statisticians is the digitization process, which is also gaining momentum in the financial industry. Digitization and innovation of financial services imposes new challenges for their statistical monitoring and measurement. At the same time, in the statistical world, the number of initiatives for active use of the so-called "Big data" is rising, a new paradigm that changes profiles and statistics makers, statistical processes, as well as the overall economic and financial analysis.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Finally, we, like other statistics makers in RM, in recent years have made great step forward in improving the existing statistical surveys and introducing new one for the purpose of filling in the identified staistical gaps in global terms. However, statistics is not an aim by itself. By providing rich, high-quality, timely and internationally harmonized set of statistics, we contribute to higher social goals, that is making decisions based on facts in order to increase social welfare. Bearing in mind the dynamic world we live in and the changes it brings, a key challenge for statisticians will be to keep pace with these changes and to develop credible statistics as a public good that enables a better understanding of reality and taking appropriate policies from all factors of social life.
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National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia