Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS)
The Household Finance and Consumption Survey provides the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) with unique microeconomic data on the financial situation of households, used to supplement the available macroeconomic datasets. In 2023, the NBB will be organising this survey, which forms part of a European project, for the fifth time. The participation of households is very important as their cooperation makes this study possible.
In 2023, the National Bank of Belgium will be organising for the fifth time a survey on the financial behaviour of households. More than 10,000 households have been selected at random, some of which will be asked to participate in the survey.
The survey is being coordinated at euro area level by the Household Finance and Consumption Network.
Families taking part in the survey will be offered a small sum of money, which they may choose to allow the NBB to donate to one of the following non-profit organisations: Amnesty International, the Belgian Cystic Fibrosis Association, Handicap International, Oxfam, Plan International, Stichting tegen Kanker/Fondation contre le Cancer, Make-A-Wish and Voedselbanken/Banques Alimentaires.
Thanks to the generosity of households, the NBB was able to donate a total of €14,540 after the fourth wave of the survey.
For more information on this wave of the survey, please contact Ipsos, the market research firm in charge of conducting the interviews:
For more information on how the data are analysed and how the survey contributes to the gathering of data on the Belgian economy, please contact the National Bank of Belgium:
Tel: 02 221 44 66
Results of previous survey waves
The fourth wave of the survey took place in 2020 and 2021. In total, 2,130 Belgian households participated. The results were published on the Bank’s website in June 2022.
The third wave of the survey was organised in 2017. The results for Belgium were published in May 2020. The results at euro area level were published on the website of the European Central Bank (ECB) in March 2020.
The second wave of the survey was launched in 2014. The results can be consulted here.
The results of the first wave, carried out in 2010, are available here.
Please find below a list of selected NBB publications which made use of the HFCS data:
- de Sola Perea M, J Mohimont and M-D Zachary (2022), “At the heart of the turmoil: the pandemic, households and their financial situation”, NBB, Economic Review, October.
- Mohimont J, M de Sola Perea and M‑D Zachary (2022), “Softening the blow: Job retention schemes in the pandemic”, NBB, Working Paper Research 414.
- Bover O, JM Casado, S Costa, P Du Caju, Y McCarthy, E Sierminska, P Tzamourani, E Villanueva and T Zavadil (2016), “The distribution of debt across euro area countries: the role of individual characteristics, institutions and credit conditions”, International Journal of Central Banking, 12(2), 71-128.
- De Backer B, P Du Caju, M Emiris and C Van Nieuwenhuyze (2015), “Macroeconomic determinants of non-performing loans”, NBB, Economic Review, December.
- Du Caju P, T Roelandt, C Van Nieuwenhuyze and M-D Zachary (2014), “Household debt: evolution and distribution”, NBB, Economic Review, September.
- Du Caju P, F Rycx and I Tojerow (2016), “Unemployment risk and over-indebtedness: A microeconometric perspective”, NBB, Working Paper Research 294.
The ECB also has a webpage on the survey (click here).