Monetary aggregates

The monetary aggregates of the euro area are composed of specific types of liabilities of MFIs (and in certain cases of central government) vis-à-vis non-MFI euro area residents excluding central government.

The liabilities of MFIs that are included in monetary aggregates are currency in circulation, overnight deposits, deposits with an agreed maturity of up to two years, deposits redeemable at notice of up to three months, repurchase agreements (repos), debt securities issued by MFIs with an initial maturity of up to two years, and money market fund shares/units.

As from January 2001, when Greece joined the euro area, Greece’s monetary aggregates refer to the so-called “Greek contribution” to euro area aggregates. The Greek contribution is calculated in a way that its sum with the national contributions of all other euro area countries gives  the euro area aggregate.

This implies the following rules:

  1. with respect to deposits, the Greek contribution is equal to the total amount of deposits held by Greek and other euro area residents with Greek MFIs;
  2. with respect to debt securities issued by MFIs (bank bonds), the Greek contribution is equal to the debt securities issued by Greek MFIs minus the amount of bank bonds issued by all euro area MFIs and held by Greek MFIs, which means than the Greek contribution can also be negative;
  3. the calculation of the Greek contribution to currency in circulation (banknotes and coins in circulation) is complicated.

As from January 2002, when euro  banknotes were put into circulation and replaced national banknotes, currency in circulation can only be calculated for the euro area as a whole and not for individual countries.

The Eurosystem has adopted a convention for calculating national contributions to the euro area banknotes in circulation. According to this convention, the Greek contribution to banknotes in circulation is derived assuming that the amount of banknotes put into circulation by the Bank of Greece is proportional to its subscription key to the ECB’s capital, excluding 8% that represents the ECB’s  share of total euro banknote issue.

The data series for the Greek contribution to the euro area monetary aggregates starts from January 2001, when Greece joined  the euro area. For research purposes, the ECB (in cooperation with the Bank of Greece) estimated a historical data series for the period 1980-2000, which shows what the Greek contribution would theoretically have been if the monetary union existed in that period. These historical data are in effect estimates of Greece’s monetary aggregates of Greece for the period 1980-2000 according to the current definitions of monetary aggregates and not the definitions applying back then.

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