Glossary:National accounts (NA)
National accounts, often called macroeconomic accounts and abbreviated as NA, are statistics focusing on the structure and evolution of economies. They describe and analyse, in an accessible and reliable way, the economic interactions (transactions) within an economy. There are an almost unimaginable large number of these transactions.
The national accounts sector refers to the whole economy (a country, the European Union (EU) or the euro area) as a sector. All institutional units operating within an economy can be assigned to a particular institutional sector. Breakdowns by institutional sector are given by the sector accounts.
The institutional sectors group institutional units with broadly similar characteristics and behaviour, the following mutually exclusive ones can be distinguished:
- non-financial corporations;
- financial corporations;
- general government;
- non-profit institutions serving households.
Transactions with non-residents and the financial claims of residents on non-residents, or vice versa, are recorded in the "rest of the world" account.
Macroeconomic developments, such as economic growth and inflation, are driven by the actions of the individual economic subjects in an economy. Grouping economic subjects with similar behaviour into institutional sectors helps significantly in understanding the functioning of the economy.