Portugal occupies the last position in the financial literacy ranking of the 19 countries of the euro zone in 2020, according to a graphic in the article “The ECB’s communication with the general public”, published by the European Central Bank (ECB).
According to the chart, with data from 2020, at the top of the ranking are the Germans, Dutch and Finns and at the bottom are the Portuguese, Cypriots and Italians.
The graph shows the level of financial literacy of the general public in each of the 19 eurozone countries. 25% of Portuguese, 35% of Cypriots and almost 40% of Italians answered correctly to at least three of the five questions, compared to 65% of Germans and Dutch. The questions were related to topics such as risk diversification, inflation, arithmetic and compound interest.
ECB economists say central bank communication has traditionally been aimed primarily at specialists, such as financial market participants, but recently “they have made more efforts to reach a wider non-specialist audience”. They define the general public as the non-specialised public and representative professional organizstions such as business associations, trade unions, political groups, etc.
Public interest in ECB-related topics also varies greatly from country to country, although the main interest is monetary policy. In Italy and Spain, interest in banking supervision matters is much higher than in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. And the discussion about the mandate and responsibility of the ECB is more common in Germany and France than in other countries.
Television (81%) is the main channel through which the public receives news about the ECB, followed by the written press, internet press, radio and information received through people's social circles, according to data from a Knowledge & Attitudes (K&A) in May 2021. But few people receive news about the ECB on social media.
The most popular social media channel is Facebook (14%), followed by Twitter and LinkedIn. ECB economists stress that the ECB's communication is more complex than that of other central banks because it has to communicate in many languages. The ECB communicates in 24 languages to 340 million citizens in 19 countries and has to take into account the different levels of financial literacy between eurozone countries.
The ECB considers that the readability of the ECB’s new “monetary policy statement” has significantly improved compared to the previous “preliminary statement” and that the monetary policy statement infographics introduces a more accessible level of communication that allows it to better reach the public in general.