The Banco de Portugal's Experience in Communicating Statistics
José Manuel Faustino
Statistics, Banco de Portugal

High quality statistics are instrumental in supporting private and public policy-making decisions. In periods of crisis, such as the present climate, the access to and the understanding of statistics by all type of users are of a paramount importance. Central banks have a particular responsibility in this field and they have to play a more decisive role in communicating statistics.

Since 2006, when the Banco de Portugal decided to enhance its focus on the communication of statistics by implementing a new statistical dissemination system in the internet, several efforts have been put forward to increase the knowledge and use of statistics by the different types of users and to develop specific actions to bring them more close to central bank statistics. The main concern has been the expansion of data, metadata, publications and tools to access and understand statistical information. In parallel, the cooperation between the Banco the Portugal and public (universities, foundations, government bodies, etc.) and private (journalists, research and analysis offices, etc.) institutions has been taking place on a regular basis, aiming to foster a more efficient and frequent use of central bank statistics.

The goal of this paper is twofold: (i) to describe the state of play in the statistics communication function of the Banco de Portugal; and, (ii) to disclose the plans ahead that aim to overcome the identified obstacles and to contribute to a dynamic and mutually beneficial use of statistics. The paper covers the actions intended for the general public and those that target specific types of users, the quantitative and qualitative indicators that are being developed to monitor the use of statistics, the presentations and dedicated meetings in specific statistical fields, and the tools and policies defined in this area.

Keywords: Statistical literacy; Communication policies; Statistical users; Statistics on the web

Biography: José Faustino heads the Statistics Dissemination Unit, which is mainly focused on the statistical dissemination in Banco de Portugal. The Unit is also involved in the statistical production, in the development of the statistical information system in the Statistics Department, in the statistical literacy and in the improvement and expansion of the statistical dissemination system in Banco de Portugal.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Faustino worked from January 2000 to April 2004 for the ECB, mainly for the CSDB project, as Head of Bank Reporters Unit in Banco de Portugal and as information analyst in Portugal Telecom.

He produced several articles for specialized magazines in the Financial Markets and he also was for several years a lecturer of Economics and Statistics, in the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), and International Economics, in the European University.He holds a Master in Statistics and a degree in economics from UNL.