Financial Statistics

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Statistics, Financial


the branch of economic statistics that studies the patterns and mass processes that occur in the field of finance, monetary circulation, and credit. The primary tasks of Soviet financial statistics are (1) the collection, processing, and analysis of the indexes that describe the financial relations in the national economy and (2) supervision of the fulfillment of financial plans. Soviet financial statistics is subdivided into state budget statistics, bank statistics, savings statistics, statistics on state social insurance, and statistics on the finances of enterprises and national economic sectors.

State budget statistics deals with the structure and dynamics of budget revenues and expenditures (state, republic, local) and describes the financial processes involved in the development of the country’s economy and culture. Bank statistics works out the system of statistical indexes characterizing credit and clearing relations between banks and enterprises, as well as monetary circulation in the country. Among such indexes are the volume and structure of the loans granted, the purpose of the loans, the timeliness of loan repayment, the turnover fate and dynamics of loan indebtedness, the volume and distribution of clearing transactions by method of clearing, and the amount of money m the country.

Savings statistics studies the network of savings banks and the dynamics and structure of personal savings. It also identifies trends toward change in savings by region and over time. Its basic indexes are the bank network, the volume and number of deposits grouped by various features, the average period that a deposit is held, transactions involving state bonds and money-goods lotteries, and cash services for the population, enterprises, and organizations. There are also indexes describing the activity of savings banks.

State insurance statistics examines the volume and sources of insurance funds and studies the data on the payment of insurance indemnification and insurance sums classified by region, type of insurance, type of economic activity, and other characteristics. This branch of financial statistics also keeps track of the frequency, severity, and danger of insured events and describes the social insurance and social security budget.

Of great importance for financial statistics are indexes that characterize the financial activity of enterprises and organizations, entire economic sectors, and the national economy as a whole. Among such indexes are profit, profitability, economic incentive funds, the turnover rate of circulating capital, and budget payments. In connection with the economic reform being carried out in the country, the financial statistics of enterprises and organizations are becoming more important, and the system of such financial indexes is being refined, as are the methods of analyzing them. The financial indexes are generally integrated with other indexes of an enterprise’s or organization’s activity. Another important task of financial statistics is to work out the indexes for the financial balances of the USSR’s national economy, the republic economies, economic sectors, and enterprises. The reporting balance of personal monetary incomes and expenditures is an integral part of the financial balances.

The basic source of data for financial statistics is material from bookkeeping and statistical reports, processed regularly in accordance with instructions issued by the Central Statistical Board and Ministry of Finance of the USSR. Data from comprehensive observations are supplemented by material derived from sample surveys.

In studying financial statistics the USSR is working closely with other socialist countries, in particular the members of COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance). The socialist countries are doing joint work in financial statistics on a regular basis and in conformity with a single plan through the standing COMECON commissions for statistics and finance.

In the capitalist countries, the basic sources of data for financial statistics are information from the bookkeeping balances of enterprises, material from various surveys by financial agencies, the financial reports of corporations, and the censuses of business institutions, taken once every five or more years. Another source is material collected and published by governmental financial services (in the USA, for example, by the Federal Reserve Board), primarily on a sampling basis. Also valuable are stock market reports and publications giving rates of foreign exchange and stock prices. Material on the financial activity of private companies, the basic and most important aspect of financial statistics, is divulged on a restricted basis (the law of commercial secrecy) and thus does not give a complete picture of the results of the activity of such companies.

When the indexes of the financial statistics of different capitalist countries are compared, they are converted according to a standard methodology. It is also important to convert comparable national indexes into one currency. The International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development are the principal organizations working on international financial statistics. The statistical services of the UN also devote much attention to financial statistics.


Karpenko, B. I. Finansovaia statistika. Moscow, 1929.
Livshits, F. D. Bankovskaia statistika s osnovami obshchei teorii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1948.
Riauzov, N. N., and Iu. L. Shor. Statistika v kreditnykh uchrezhdeniiakh. Moscow, 1973.
Statistika finansov. Edited by P. P. Maslov. Moscow, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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