Available datasets

Harmonised core dataset

By default, the MiRDH provides a core dataset constructed in accordance with a predefined methodology. The core dataset is available for the period 1996 to current -2 for non-financial corporations. It can be supplemented with data from the other datasets mentioned below. Research projects that derogate from the methodological choices applicable to the core dataset may also be considered.

Variables in the harmonised core dataset:

  • financial statement data: total assets, fixed tangible assets, investment, turnover, intermediate inputs, number of employees and labour costs;
  • firm characteristics: official start and stop dates of activity, two-digit NACE REV.2 codes, corporate form, legal situation, number of establishments and annual accounts format;
  • international trade flows: firm-level exports and imports, based on the national and Community concepts;
  • foreign direct investment: (multinational) dummy variable for inward and outward foreign direct investment;
  • deflators: for value added, gross fixed capital formation and intermediate inputs at A64 level.

Frequency: Annually

Period: 1996-y-2

Unit: Euro


Firm characteristics
  • Source: Crossroads Enterprise Database (CBE)
  • Metadata: Crossroads Enterprise Database
  • The main variables include: official start and stop dates of activity, reason for stopping activity, NACE Rev.2 codes, location (postal and region code), (corporate_form), legal situation, information on establishments (number of establishments, identification numbers and characteristics).

Sample data request

Name of Dataset Variable Item Code Comments Frequency Period Aggregation
CBE Zip code zip N/A N/A 2010-21 N/A
Data from financial statements: balance sheet, income (P&L) statement, social balance sheet and financial ratios
  • Source: Central Balance Sheet Office (CBSO)
  • Metadata:
    • The format of annual accounts differs for large firms, SMEs and micro firms, with large firms obligated to report more detailed information than SMEs and micro firms (see the size criteria).
    • Formats have changed over time. The MirDH provides data on formats in use from 1996 to the present:
    • Full format (NL/FR)
    • Other (past and current) formats (NL/FR)
    • More information on financial ratios can be found in this document (NL/FR).
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Period: Since 1996
    • Information is available dating back to 1985 but in a different format (NL/FR).
  • Unit: Euro

Sample data request

Name of Dataset Variable Item Code Comments Frequency Period Aggregation
CBSO Total assets 20/58 N/A Annually 2010-21 N/A
VAT returns: firm-level information
  • Source: Value added tax returns (VAT)
  • Metadata : VAT return (NL or FR)
  • Main variables: sales, purchases of raw materials (_81), purchases of services and other goods (_82), purchases of investment goods (_83).
  • Frequency: Quarterly for all firms, monthly for large firms
  • Period: Since 1995
  • Units: Euro

Sample data request

Name of Dataset Variable Item Code Comments Frequency Period Aggregation
VAT Sales Sales N/A Annually 2010-21 N/A
VAT Purchases of inv. goods _83 N/A Annually 2010-21 N/A

International trade data: firm/product/country-level information on exports and imports

  • Source: Extrastat customs data and Intrastat Survey data (INT TRADE)
  • Variables:
    • exports and imports of goods by firm, product and country of destination/origin;
    • in value and volume terms;
    • defined in accordance with national and/or EU concepts; see the external trade statistics (NL/FR).
  • Classification:
  • ISO country codes
  • Product codes: CN8 classification (the first six digits correspond to the HS6 classification). The CN8 classification changes over time. The MiRDH can provide harmonised product codes upon request.[1]
  • Reporting thresholds:
    • Customs data (for extra-EU trade) are collected for all transactions with a value above €1,000 or a weight in excess of 1,000 kg.
    • A time-varying reporting threshold is applicable to intra-EU trade flows (Intrastat Manual). Firms must report export transactions if these exceed the export threshold on an annual basis. Similarly, they must report import transactions if these exceed the import threshold on an annual basis.

Intrastat reporting thresholds (in euro)

Period Export threshold Import threshold
1995-1997 104,115 104,115
1998-2005 250,000 250,000
2006-2010 1,000,000 400,000
2010-2015 1,000,000 700,000
2016 -current 1,000,000 1,500,000
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Period: Since 1995
  • Units: Euro

For this dataset, the data requirements should be described as follows

Name of Dataset Variable Item Code Comments Frequency Period Aggregation
INT TRADE Exports Exports National concept Annually 2005-21 Firm-level
INT TRADE Imports Imports National concept Quarterly 2005.1-21.4 Firm-CN6
INT TRADE Exports Exports EU concept Monthly 2005.1-21.12 Firm-ISO
INT TRADE Exports Exports National concept Annually 2005-21 Firm-CN8-ISO
 Foreign direct investment survey: firm/country-level information on FDI
  • Source: balance of payments data, survey on foreign direct investment (FDI)
  • Main variables: FDI stocks, direct and indirect participation rates in inward and outward FDI by firm and country[2]
  • ISO country codes
  • It should be noted that reporting thresholds apply to the FDI survey: From 1997 to 2000, the survey included mainly firms that reported FDI transactions in their balance of payments data. Since 2001, the survey has covered firms with fixed financial assets valued at more than €5M or equity in excess of €10M or total assets above €25M.
  • Frequency: Annually
  • Period: Since 1997
  • Units: Euro
Name of Dataset Variable Item Code Comments Frequency Period Aggregation
FDI Outward FDI dummy N/A =1 if direct + indirect participation rate >10% Annually 2010-21 N/A

Complementary datasets provided by academic teams

As a general rule, external microeconomic data can be made available upon request, further to an agreement between the academic team and the external data owner. The MiRDH team will pseudonymise datasets provided by external data owners and merge them with the MiRDH datasets before making them accessible to the academic team.

Requests to use or access external datasets should be indicated on the application form.

The external data owner’s consent is required to use the data provided.

Other confidential datasets

Applications requiring the use of additional or other datasets from the National Bank of Belgium which are not currently available in the MiRDH will also be considered.

The selection committee will take a decision based on the NBB’s interest and resource availability when co-authorship with NBB staff is required.

[1] The harmonisation of product codes over time is based on the assumption that when a product is split into several categories, the new import (or export) structure is applied to the past. If the firm no longer imports (or exports) the product, the average import (or export) structure over the sample of firms is applied.

[2] Additional data, such as foreign affiliates trade statistics (FATS), are not currently included in the MiRDH. FATS concern only foreign firms at least 50% of whose equity capital is held by a Belgian firm.