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Nota de Informação Estatística de 20102010

Dissemination of historical time-series for the Portuguese Escudo (1) 

Banco de Portugal was created by a royal decree on 19 November 1846, as an issuing bank, entrusted with the “exclusive power to issue banknotes or bearer bonds in mainland Portugal”.

After more than 160 years, during which three distinct monetary currencies have been adopted (real, escudo and euro), Banco de Portugal continues to guarantee the issue and putting into circulation of the national economy’s legal tender currency. It currently holds this function under the framework and operating regulations set out for the national central banks of the Eurosystem and the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), under the provisions of the Article 6 (1) of the Organic Law of the Banco de Portugal: “Under the provisions of Article 106 of the Treaty which institutes the European Community, Banco de Portugal issues banknotes, which are legal tender and have discharging power”.

Under the provisions of Article 20 of the Organic Law “Banco de Portugal is the exchange rate authority of the Portuguese Republic” and, pursuant to the Article 13, “It is incumbent on Banco de Portugal the collection and compilation of monetary, financial, foreign exchange and balance of payments statistics, in particular within the scope of its co-operation with the ECB”.

In this framework, the Banco de Portugal has decided to collect all the information about the Escudo, available in various media, mostly on paper, and to make available to the public historical time-series of the Escudo accompanied by metadata that contributes to a better understanding of its evolution since the late nineteenth century until the adoption of the euro by Portugal on 1 January 1999. Hence, all users that are interested in these statistics have access to the information in a structured manner identical to the remaining statistical information of the Banco de Portugal.

The historical time-series of the Escudo covers a universe of 124 currencies, 100 of which are quoted at end of period, available on a monthly and yearly basis, and a set of 24 currencies quoted at end-period and average price on a daily, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
On a daily basis the information is available since 2 January 1987 for most currencies. Historical information on the value of special drawing right (SDR) and the price of gold bullion against the Escudo is available from 2 January 1987 until 31 December 1998.

The following table allows comparison of the available information on the historical average exchange rate against the Escudo on the day prior to the disclosure of the results of this study (19 October 2010) and the World Statistics Day (20 October 2010) for a set of 24 currencies selected according to their importance and relevance in the history of Portugal:

Historical information on the Escudo – start date of statistical time series 
(before and after the World Statistics Day)

The branch of historical series of the Escudo, in the domain of the exchange rate statistics in BPstat, includes the first statistics to be produced by Banco de Portugal. On average, the access to the exchange rate statistics pages in the internet site of Banco de Portugal is responsible for over 66% of all accesses to the statistics pages.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the time-series on exchange rates statistics represent about 28% of the total universe of statistical time-series (6,092 series) in the chronological component of BPstat | Statistics online.

Lisboa, 20 October 2010

(1) These time-series start in 1891. The Escudo replaced the Real under the provisions of the Decree-Law of 22 May 1911. For the previous dates, it was decided to adjust the exchange rate of the different currencies according to the value of 1 Escudo equal to 1000 Réis.