Methodology

Interest rates

Money market rates

Like the segment relating to monetary policy, the money market rate segment concerns interest rates on short-term and very short-term instruments. Traditionally, that includes the rates at up to one year on liquid instruments backed by substantial legal guarantees. Data on this segment are divided into four groups:

  1. the main monetary policy interest rates:
    these are the rates announced by the European Central Bank (ECB) on two-week and three-month refinancing operations, and the rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility.
  2. interbank market interest rates: EONIA and EURIBOR:
    the interbank market has two types of interest rates calculated on the basis of the returns submitted by a panel of 57 banks located throughout the euro area, subject to a quota per country and on condition that the participants are active on the euro market and capable of handling substantial volumes of financial instruments based on the euro interest rates.
    EURIBOR (Euro Inter Bank Offered Rate): unweighted average of the rates offered at 11.00 hrs (Brussels time) (“prime rate”).
    EONIA (Euro OverNight Index Average): weighted average of overnight rates on unsecured loans, calculated by the ECB.
  3. the benchmark rates for Belgian State treasury certificates on the secondary market:
    the arithmetical average of the buying and selling rates of the leading primary dealers, permitting monitoring of the rates applied by “essential” market makers.
  4. interest rates on euro currencies:
    these rates relate to the market in deposits between financial institutions outside the national market in the currencies concerned. Up to 1990 the rates concerned the average of the bid and offered rates, and from 1991 the bid rates obtained from a survey of the leading market participants.

Capital market rates

The capital market comprises long-term instruments which may represent either a liability or an asset. The interest rates recorded in this segment for representative debt instruments are the yields on the secondary bond market in government loans and the yields calculated on the basis of those securities.

  • The loans are government issues in euro at over one year on which a Royal Decree has been published in the Moniteur belge/ Belgisch Staatsblad. They therefore comprise a range of government-backed securities such as traditional loans (for private and institutional investors), loans intended for individuals only (such as State notes) and loans for institutional investors (e.g. OLOs). The samples do not include any loans on which the outstanding amount is less than a specified figure, or loans with special conditions attached.
    In regard to linear bonds (OLOs) which form a large, homogenous group (dematerialised securities, bonds capable of assimilation, system of tendering per tranche, etc.), this concerns on the one hand the average yields on OLOs with a residual term of between 1 and 12 years or more, and on the other hand the yields which are based on a fixed residual term (theoretical term of 1 to 30 years), in other words an interpolation in the yield curve (on the due date, calculated on the basis of certain instruments such as OLOs and 12-month treasury certificates).
  • Yields on the national secondary capital markets:
    Here we have the “benchmark” loans for a number of countries, in other words the yield on a government security selected by the monetary authorities as the reference for a residual term of 10 years. In addition, the figures show the yields which the national central banks calculate for loans performing the role of the benchmark and conforming to the national definitions of “long-term”, namely terms ranging from 5 to 10 years.
  • Eurobond market: the secondary market yields are recorded in the “Luxembourg official listing” where they are calculated for the short term (less than 3 years), the medium term (3 to 7 years) and the long term (from 7 to less than 15 years).

Customer rates

Debit and credit interest rates according to the standardised European survey (MIR):
The pattern of interest rates is a key source of information for the Eurosystem monetary policy. In order to harmonise the questions on the rates applied by monetary financial institutions, the ECB decided to standardise the definitions, methods of calculation, measurement periods and procedures applied by the national central banks for the selection of the monetary financial institutions. That harmonisation is described in Regulation ECB/2001/18 of 20 December 2001.

Find out more on the MIR website

Corporate credit observatory

The proposed observatory data mainly concern the outstanding amounts of credit to enterprises, the interest rates charged by credit institutions, and developments in supply and demand on the credit markets.

The debit interest rate data are taken from a survey of credit institutions harmonised within the euro area. The interest rates indicated conform to market conditions, since they record the actual interest rates which credit institutions have charged on all new credit contracts during the reference month.

Find out more on the observatory’s website: Dutch - French.