Non-financial transactions (nasq_10_nf_tr)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

C2: National accounts production

1.5. Contact mail address

5 r. Alphonse Weicker - bâtim. Joseph Bech, 2721 Luxembourg


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 25/10/2018
2.2. Metadata last posted 25/10/2018
2.3. Metadata last update 22/03/2019


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The non-financial Quarterly Sector Accounts (QSA) are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) and are transmitted by the EU Member States and EEA Members (Norway, Iceland) following ESA2010 transmission programme (Table 801) established by the Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union, annexes A and B respectively).

The QSA encompass non-financial accounts that provide a description of the different stages of the economic process: production, generation of income, distribution of income, redistribution of income, use of income and non-financial accumulation. The ASA record the economic flows of institutional sectors in order to illustrate their economic behaviour and interactions between them. They also provide a list of balancing items that have high analytical value in their own right: value added, operating surplus and mixed income, balance of primary incomes, disposable income, saving, net lending / net borrowing. All of them but net lending / net borrowing, can be expressed in gross or net terms, i.e. with and without consumption of fixed capital that accounts for the use and obsolescence of fixed assets.

In terms of institutional sectors, a broad distinction is made between the domestic economy (ESA 2010 classification code S.1) and the rest of the world (S.2). Within S.1 and S.2, in turn, more detailed subsectors are distinguished as explained in more detail in section "3.2 Classification system".

Data are presented in the table "Non-financial transactions" (nasq_10_nf_tr).

The table contains data, as far as they are available, expressed in national currency and millions of euro in current prices.
In line with ESA2010 Transmission programme requirements data series start from 1999 Q1 (unless subject to voluntary transmission option and/or country specific derogations).

Available level of detail by sectors and transactions may also vary by country due to voluntary transmission of some items (as defined in ESA2010 transmission programme) and country specific derogations.

QSA collected according ESA2010 Transmission programme include selected data on employment (in persons and hours worked) and seasonally adjusted variables by institutional sectors. However, as transmission of these variables is voluntary (except for the selected seasonally adjusted variables of Total economy and the Rest of the world), data availability may vary significantly across countries.

A set of key indicators, deemed meaningful for economic analysis, is available in the table "Key indicators" (nasq_10_ki) for most of the members of the European Economic Area (EEA), of the Euro area and EU. Key indicators are generally released in non-seasonally adjusted terms. Only EA/EU aggregate key indicators are also available seasonally adjusted.

Key ratios are derived from non-financial transactions as follows:

  • Gross household saving rate (S.14_S.15): B8G/(B6G+D8rec-D8pay)*100
  • Gross investment rate of households (S.14_S.15): P51G/(B6G+D8rec-D8pay)*100
  • Gross investment rate of non-financial corporations (S.11): P51G/B1G*100
  • Gross profit share of non-financial corporations (S.11): B2G_B3G/B1G*100

With the following transaction codes:

  • B6G - Gross disposable income
  • B8G -  Gross saving
  • D8rec / D8pay - the adjustment for the change in pension entitlements (receivable / payable)
  • P51G - Gross fixed capital formation
  • B1G - Gross value added
  • B2G_B3G - Gross operating surplus/ mixed income.

The following seasonally adjusted key indicators are calculated in real terms for European aggregates only: 

  • Nominal growth of household adjusted disposable income per capita (percentage change on previous period, S.14_S.15): B7G/(POP_NC)
  • Real growth of household adjusted disposable income per capita (percentage change on previous period, S.14_S.15): B7G/(POP_NC*Price Deflator)
  • Real growth of household actual consumption per capita (percentage change on previous period, S.14_S.15): P4/(POP_NC*Price Deflator)

With the following codes (the codes already described above have not been listed): 

  • B7G - Gross adjusted gross disposable income (adjusted for social transfers in kind)
  • P4 - Actual final consumption (adjusted for social transfers in kind)
  • POP_NC - Total population national concept (source: Quarterly national accounts, Eurobase domain namq_10_pe)
  • Price deflator - Price index/implicit deflator calculated as CP_MEUR/CLV05_MEUR – both indicators refer to households and NPISH final consumption expenditure (P31_S14_S15) (source: Quarterly national accounts, Eurobase domain namq_10_gdp)

In the above, all ratios are expressed in gross terms, i.e. before deduction of consumption of fixed capital.

The following key indicators combine non-financial with financial accounts:

  • Household net financial assets ratio (BF90/(B6G+D8net))

With the following codes (the codes already described above have not been listed):

  • BF90 – Financial net worth

"rec" means resources, that is transactions that add to the economic value of a given sector.

"pay" means "uses", that is transactions that reduce the economic value of a given sector.

"liab" refers to the stock of liabilities incurred by a given sector and recorded in the financial balance sheets.

See also the sector accounts dedicated website for more information.

3.2. Classification system

The standard followed is the European System of Accounts 2010 and ESA 2010 data transmission programme. The main categories are the institutional sectors and the transactions recorded between the sectors. The transactions are grouped into a sequence of accounts, namely: the production, generation, distribution and redistribution of income, use of income and capital accounts.

The institutional sectors combine institutional units with broadly similar characteristics and behaviour: households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs), non-financial corporations, financial corporations, and the government. 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.

ESA 2010 Classification of sectors:

  • Total economy (S.1)
  • Non-financial corporations (S.11)
  • Financial corporations (S.12)
  • General government (S.13)
  • Households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) (S.14_15)
  • Rest of the World (S.2)

An additional Not sectorised category (S.1N) is introduced for sector accounts data transmission/ presentation purposes.
The Not sectorised category describes transactions that conceptually cannot be allocated to domestic institutional sectors. This is the case only for transactions in taxes and subsidies in products (D.21-D.31) as elements of GDP by production approach.

The non-financial corporations sector comprises all private and public corporate enterprises that produce goods or provide non-financial services to the market. Accordingly, the government sector excludes such public enterprises (except corporations having mainly non-market output and being controlled by government unit) and comprises central, state (regional) and local government and social security funds.

The financial corporations sector comprises all private and public entities engaged in financial intermediation such as monetary financial institutions (Central bank and other banks, money market funds), investment funds, insurance corporations and pension funds.

The households sector comprises all households including unincorporated household enterprises. These cover most sole proprietorships and most partnerships that do not have a legal status independent from their owners. Therefore the household sector also generates output and entrepreneurial income. In quarterly sector accounts, both national and European, non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs), such as charities and trade unions, are grouped with households. NPISHs economic weight is relatively limited.

Rest of the world sector consists of non-resident units insofar as they are engaged in transactions with resident institutional sectors.

The transactions between institutional sectors are grouped into various categories that have a distinct economic meaning. For more details on transactions and sequence of accounts please see section 3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions.

Classification of transactions:

  • Transactions in goods and services include the letter "P", e.g. P.1 Output, P.2 Intermediate consumption, P.51 Gross fixed capital formation etc.
  • Distributive transactions have the letter "D", e.g. D.1 Compensation of employees, D.2 Taxes on production and imports, D.41 Interest etc.
  • Letter "B" is used for the balancing items of the non-financial accounts, e.g. B.1GQ Gross domestic product at market prices, B.6G Gross disposable income, B.9 Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) etc. They are calculated as resources minus uses.

Coding of the flow dimension: in the non-financial accounts, resources are coded as "received" and uses as "paid".

For a complete review of the classifications used, please refer to:

- ESA 2010 Chapter 23 'Classifications'.

- The European System of Accounts 2010 Transmission Programme.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Quarterly sector accounts cover all institutional sectors of the economy. For details, please refer to section 3.2 Classification system.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The concepts, definitions and classifications are based on the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010). The non-financial sector accounts provide, by institutional sector, a systematic description of the different stages of the economic process: production, generation of income, distribution of income, redistribution of income, use of income and financial and non-financial accumulation. Transactions with non-residents are recorded in the "rest of the world" account. The sector accounts thus show the interactions among the different sectors of the resident economy and between the resident economy and the rest of the world.

For the euro area and the EU consolidated  rest of the world accounts are produced. This means that cross-border transactions among euro area/EU Member States have been removed from the rest-of-the-world accounts and that, in particular, the asymmetries in the bilateral trade statistics have been eliminated. Consequently, imports and exports are much smaller than they would have been if a simple aggregation of the national data had been used; about half of the external trade of the individual Member States is within the euro area/EU.

The transactions are grouped into various categories that have a distinct economic meaning, such as 'compensation of employees' (comprising wages and salaries, before taxes and social contributions are deducted, and social contributions paid by the employers). In turn, these categories of transactions are shown in a sequence of accounts, each of which covers a specific economic process. This ranges from production, income generation and income (re)distribution, through the use of income, for consumption and saving, and the investment, as shown in the capital account, to transactions such as borrowing and lending. Each non-financial transaction is recorded as an increase in the "resources" of a certain sector and an increase in the "uses" of another sector. For instance, the resources side of the "dividends" transaction category records the amounts of dividends receivable by the different sectors of the economy, whereas the uses side shows dividends payable. For each type of transaction, total resources of all sectors and the rest of the world equal total uses. Each account leads to a meaningful balancing item, the value of which equals total resources minus total uses. Typically, such balancing items, such as GDP or saving, are important economic indicators. They are carried over to the next account.

The production account records the output of goods and services as its main resource, to which taxes less subsidies on products are added to obtain total resources of an economy at market prices. The main use in the production account is "intermediate consumption" - such as the consumption of fuel within a production process. The difference between resources and uses is the balancing item "gross value added" for individual domestic sectors and gross domestic product (GDP) for total economy . This gross value added is then carried over as a resource to the subsequent set of accounts, the generation and distribution of income accounts, which eventually yield "disposable income" as a balancing item. This conceptual and numerical inter-linkage of the accounts ensures the consistent derivation of key economic indicators. "Net lending/net borrowing" is derived from the capital account by comparing "gross capital formation" (mainly investment in capital goods and software) plus the net acquisition of "non-produced, non-financial assets" (such as land or licences) with "gross saving" plus net "capital transfers" (such as an investment grants). If saving plus net capital transfers received exceeds non-financial investment, a sector has a surplus of funds and becomes a net lender to other domestic sectors and/or the rest of the world.

The transactions are recorded on an accrual basis (i.e. not on a cash basis), that is, when economic value is created, transformed or extinguished.

3.5. Statistical unit

The elementary building block of ESA2010 statistics is the institutional unit (see ESA2010, 2.12.), "an elementary economic decision-making centre characterised by uniformity of behaviour and decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function". This can be, amongst others, a household, a corporation or a government agency.

3.6. Statistical population

National accounts combine data from many source statistics. The concept of statistical population is not applicable in a national accounts context.

3.7. Reference area

Eurostat collects and disseminates in its database data for European Union, Euro Area, EU Member States, EFTA Member States (except Liechtenstein) based on ESA 2010.Eurostat receives from OECD in the framework of data sharing agreement and disseminates data forthe following OECD countries: Russia, South Africa, Canada, United States, Chile, Japan, Australia. The applied key statistical concepts can be consulted under https://stats.oecd.org/

The applied key statistical concepts can be found under https://stats.oecd.org/

3.8. Coverage - Time

The ESA 2010 regulation requires submitting the data back to 1999 Q1. Given the existence of derogations regarding the transmission programme and voluntary series, the length of the series available may vary from one country to the other.

The Euro Area and the European Union Quarterly Sector Accounts are available as from 1999 Q1, respectively.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.


4. Unit of measure Top

Data are presented in millions of national currency, Euro/ECU (for non-financial transactions) and as percentage ratios (for key indicators).


5. Reference Period Top

The reference period is the quarter.


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

The non-financial Annual Sector Accounts (ASA) are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) and are transmitted by the EU Member States and EEA Members (Norway, Iceland) following ESA2010 transmission programme (Table 801) both established by the Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union, annexes A and B respectively).

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Data received via the ESA2010 transmission programme are shared with other international institutions in accordance with specific agreements, notably with the ECB and the OECD.
Data sharing with ECB is governed by service level agreement signed between Eurostat and ECB in February 2008.

A Protocol for co-operation between Eurostat and the OECD in the area of National Accounts signed in June 2013 specifies agreed data exchange and data validation arrangements.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

If Member States transmit data with a confidentiality flag or an embargo date, these data are not disseminated until the confidentiality flag is lifted in a subsequent data transmission or the embargo expired.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

QSA data (both national data and European Union and Euro Area aggregates) are released on quarterly basis.

Complete sequence of accounts for the European Union and Euro Area by institutional sectors are released 120 days after the reference quarter (final data release). Final data release covers as well seasonally adjusted key indicators (Gross household saving rate, Gross investment rate of households, Gross investment rate of non-financial corporations and Gross profit share of non-financial corporations) both for Euro area and European Union.

For the Euro Area only, selected transactions and key indicators for the corporations and households (incl. NPISH) sectors are first published around 94 days after the reference quarter (early data release). To avoid inconsistencies in Euro Area accounts due to data revisions, data for total economy, general government and RoW sectors are not available in database between 94 and 120 days after the reference quarter. Complete dataset for Euro area as released in previous quarter can be downloaded here.

Only Euro area key indicators are seasonally adjusted in the early data release.

National data are published in Eurostat database around 94, 110 and 120 days after the reference quarter according to data availability. Only selected seasonally adjusted data are available by countries (see section 3.1 for more details). National key indicators are published in Eurostat database around 94 and 120 days after the reference quarter according to data availability.

Quarterly sector accounts data by countries validated by Eurostat before the release of validated government finance statistics (GFS) are published excluding S.13 (general government) sector. Following release of GFS at around t+112 days, countries' sector accounts data are published including S.13 data.  

Significant inconsistencies between sector accounts data and related national accounts datasets (main GDP aggregates, GFS) may result in countries' data not being disseminated until the quality issues are resolved (see section 19. Comment for more details by country).

8.2. Release calendar access

For European sector accounts please refer to release calendars section on Eurostat website and sector accounts dedicated webpage.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Quarterly.


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Please consult electronic news releases in sector accounts dedicated website.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Sector accounts dedicated website provides data, information on methodology and analysis. On the website quarterly Euro area and EU aggregates are also presented in the standard ESA2010 sequence of accounts format (Excel files).

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data in Eurostat database.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

The dedicated website offers analytical review of the published data.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The general methodological framework is defined in the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).

For a methodological overview of European sector accounts please refer  to chapter 19 of  ESA 2010 and to the sector accounts dedicated website.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not available.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Quality is assured by strict application of ESA 2010 concepts and by thorough validation of the data delivered by countries.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

ESA 2010 data transmissions are subject to regular quality assessment reviews. Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 (ESA 2010 Regulation) specifies that the data covered by that Regulation is subject to the quality criteria, namely relevance, accuracy, timeliness and punctuality, accessibility and clarity, comparability and coherence, as set out in Article 12(1) of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Member States are to provide the Commission with a report on the quality of the transmitted data on national and regional accounts. The modalities, structure, periodicity and assessment indicators of the quality reports on data transmitted have been specified in a Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/2304 of 19 December 2016. The implementation of the quality reporting and assessment exercise started in 2017 and is carried out annually. As part of the annual exercise, Eurostat assesses the results, prepares and publishes an overall assessment based on the national quality reports and other available information. The Commission also, on a 5 year basis, reports to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of the ESA 2010 Regulation, including the quality of data on national and regional accounts. The first of such reports was published in 2018: REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the application of Regulation (EU) No 549/2013.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Quarterly sector accounts offer complete and consistent description of the economic cycle from production to the accumulation of non-financial assets for the whole economy and institutional sectors.

Sector accounts allow for an analysis of the interactions among institutional sectors as well as between them and the rest of the world, and the derivation of key macroeconomic indicators.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available.

12.3. Completeness

European quarterly sector accounts sector accounts offer complete and consistent description of the economic cycle from production to the accumulation of non-financial assets for the whole economy and institutional sectors, including rest of the world.

As for national data, according to ESA 2010 Transmission programme,  Member States with GDP at current prices less than 1% of the corresponding EU total (calculated as a moving average based on three latest available years) have limited reporting obligation and are required to transmit only quarterly data for sectors of General government (S.13), Rest of the World (S.2) and selected variables for total economy (S.1).


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The overall accuracy is supported by ensuring that total uses and total resources are balanced at the level of individual transaction categories giving a coherent set of data for the total national economy and transactions with the rest of the world.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable.


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Quarterly European Union and Euro Area aggregates are available in 4 months after the reference quarter. For the Euro Area only, selected transactions and key indicators for the corporations and households (incl. NPISH) sectors are first published around 94 days after the reference quarter (preliminary data release).

According to the ESA 2010 Transmission Programme, Member States have to transmit quarterly data to Eurostat within 3 months after the end of the reference quarter. National data are published in Eurostat database around 94, 110 and 120 days after the reference quarter according to data availability (see also section 8.1).

14.2. Punctuality

Eurostat monitors closely punctuality of data delivery by the countries. Except in the case of special derogations, limited in time, countries generally meet the data transmission deadline (3 months after the reference quarter).


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The comparability is ensured by the application of common definitions and methodological framework established by European System of Accounts, ESA 2010, which is  based on internationally agreed System of National Accounts, SNA 2008.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Application a common framework (European System of Accounts 2010) ensures data comparability over time.

Wherever series are not comparable, data breaks are appropriately flagged in the Eurostat database.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

European aggregates

The annual series of the euro area and EU aggregates are fully consistent with the quarterly accounts published in the table "Non-financial transactions" (nasq_10_nf_tr) of the domain "Quarterly Sector Accounts" (nasq).

The rest of the world accounts, as compiled by Member States, record transactions between the national economy and all non-resident units, including those in other EU Member States. To measure the external transactions of the euro area / EU, cross-border flows within the area concerned are consolidated. With this procedure, inconsistencies in country data, such as the so-called "asymmetries" are eliminated. Furthermore, European institutions transactions are included. Therefore, European sector accounts are internally consistent but have differences with Euro area/ EU aggregates released by other national accounts domains.

It should be stressed that European sector accounts are not a simple sum of national sector accounts and cannot be used to derive not available national series as a residual.

National data

For national data, there may be discrepancies between annual and quarterly sector accounts as well as with data released by other national accounts domains due to different revision/release calendars as well as different data sources/methods across data sets. More specifically:

Differences between main aggregates (nama) and non-financial sector accounts (nasq): in line with ESA2010 TP requirements, quarterly main aggregates are transmitted in 60 days after the reference period (t+60), whereas sector accounts at t+85/t+90. Consequently, sector accounts may incorporate updated information for latest periods (e.g. for general government related transactions) as compared to earlier transmitted main aggregates. Annual data are transmitted simultaneously at t+9 months and generally expected to be consistent (except for preliminary estimates of latest year based on sum of quarterly data).

Differences between general government statistics (gov) and sector accounts (nasq): both tables are transmitted simultaneously at quarterly level. General government statistics is used as input to sector accounts for the institutional sector of general government. If general government statistics is revised during Eurostat validation process after data transmission (in particular, in April and October within EDP procedure), it may result in differences with sector accounts in these periods. Bigger discrepancies at annual level are possible in April, when annual data are transmitted for general government statistics but not necessarily for sector accounts (in line with ESA2010 Transmission programme).

Differences in back series (any tables): may occur if data revisions are not fully co-ordinated: major revisions are implemented in one data set (most often in general government/EDP data), but not yet in other related data sets.

Other differences (any tables): may occur in case of insufficient methodological co-ordination at national level when different sources/methods are used without due justification to compile identical/related variables in different tables.

Such discrepancies across national accounts domains are expected to be temporary and should be reconciled at first available opportunity (at next data transmission or at least once a year if earlier revisions are not feasible). Discrepancies in back series are normally reconciled during benchmark revisions.

Cross-domain discrepancies are regularly monitored by Eurostat and constant efforts are made to minimise them. Recommendations for harmonised European revision policy for national accounts and balance of payments are being developed under the umbrella of CMFB.

Further information on cross-domain consistency by country can be consulted in section 19.

Methodologically acceptable statistical discrepancies

Selected transactions may be different due to accepted differences in treatment of statistical discrepancy between GDP values calculated by different approaches. Such discrepancy is explicitly disclosed in main aggregates, but not in sector accounts that are expected to be balanced. Countries may choose to allocate statistical discrepancy in sector accounts to changes in inventories (expenditure side, done by AT, IE,), value added (output side, done by IE), operating surplus (income side) in order to balance the accounts.

Possible statistical discrepancy for net lending/net borrowing between non-financial and financial accounts is recognised by ESA 2010 due to different statistical data used (in particular for sectors of Non-financial corporations and Households). Countries should nonetheless aim to reduce the discrepancies through improvements in sources and methods.

15.4. Coherence - internal

European sector accounts are internally consistent. This is supported by the fact that the total uses and total resources are balanced at the level of individual transaction categories giving a coherent set of data for the total national economy and transactions with the rest of the world.

However, it should be stressed that European sector accounts are not a simple sum of national sector accounts and cannot be used to derive not available national series as a residual. Differences between European (EU/ EA accounts) and sum of the countries' data can be explained by the following:

- To measure the external transactions of the euro area / EU, cross-border flows within the area concerned are consolidated. With this procedure, inconsistencies in country data, such as the so-called "asymmetries" are eliminated;

- European institutions transactions are included.


16. Cost and Burden Top

Not available.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Quarterly sector accounts are produced from a large variety of data sources with varying degrees of timeliness. As users need national and international data as fast as possible, particularly on certain key aggregates, data are produced using the sources and related indicators that are more readily available. As more complete source data are obtained, the statistics are updated to incorporate the new information. A distinction should be made between 'routine' revisions and 'major' or 'benchmark' revisions.

•             Routine revisions refer to the changes made to the economic data published initially and to its subsequent releases for a particular reference quarter.

•             Benchmark revision is carried out at much longer time intervals. Its purpose is to incorporate the main new data sources and major changes in international statistical methodology (such as ESA 2010 or BPM6). In benchmark revision, many years are open for revision in order to create the longest possible consistent time series.

Such revisions of macroeconomic statistics are necessary to improve data quality. To minimise the inconvenience for data users, the European Statistical System (ESS) and the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) try to strike the right balance between incorporating the necessary statistical revisions and maintaining an acceptable degree of consistency across domains and countries. To this end, the two systems have worked together to draw up guidelines for a harmonised revision policy for macroeconomic statistics

National Statistical Offices and National Central Banks agreed to gradually implement a common harmonised European revision policy for national accounts and balance of payments statistics. The level of adherence to the guidelines of Member States' revision policies will be monitored regularly.

17.2. Data revision - practice

European Union and Euro Area annual aggregates are revised four times per year .

Revisions of national input data are respectively reflected in Euro area and EU sector accounts aggregates.  National revision practices of sector accounts data should follow the harmonised revision policy for the national accounts and balance of payments statistics.

Routine revisions for quarterly data

Quarterly estimates could subsequently be revised again in future quarters and years to incorporate data sources available later and to align them with new annual data.

Quarterly data are usually revised retrospectively for up to four years, although the policy allows unlimited revisions in quarter 3.

Major or benchmark revisions

In 2014, all Member States disseminated revised data according to ESA 2010. The agreed guidelines specify that Member States should disseminate the results of the next benchmark revisions in 2019 and 2024 respectively. It is expected that most EU countries will be able to meet the 2019 target and that all EU countries will undertake the subsequent benchmark revision in 2024. Disseminating the results of a benchmark revision always involves revising all, or at least a large part of the time series.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Figures are collected and transmitted to Eurostat by the National Statistical Institutes of the EU and EFTA Member States following ESA2010 transmission programme (Table 801) introduced by the Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union (annex B).

National sector accounts compilation relies on a variety of data sources, including administrative data (registers, accounting statements, tax data, budgetary reports etc), censuses, and statistical surveys of businesses and households. No single type of survey can be referred to. Sources vary from country to country and may cover a large set of economic, social, financial and environmental items, which may not be strictly related to National Accounts. For further information about sources and collection methods, please refer to National Statistical Institutes.

For the aggregation purposes (the euro area and EU aggregates), missing data concerning specific countries, transactions and sectors may be estimated by Eurostat, but such estimates are not published separately.

Accounts of EU Institutions are compiled by Eurostat on the basis of respective balance of payments (BoP) data and the profit and losses accounts of the European Investment Bank. The European Central Bank (ECB) and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) accounts are compiled by the ECB.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Member States transmit sector accounts data to Eurostat upon national publication and/or in line with the deadlines specified in the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) transmission programme (please see section 15 for details).

Underlying data are collected from national sources. As data sources vary, so does the frequency of collection, from monthly to annually, and in the case of population censuses they are mostly collected every decade.

18.3. Data collection

ESA 2010 data in are transmitted to Eurostat based on SDMX which introduced standardised codes.

National sector accounts combine data from many source statistics. Techniques of data collection vary widely, depending on the compilation approach, the source statistics available, the particular account in the system of accounts, the timeliness of data release and other factors.

18.4. Data validation

Data input by National Statistical Institutes is regularly checked by Eurostat for accuracy (accounting consistency, time-consistency between quarterly and annual accounts, consistency over time), completeness (coverage of reference periods and variables) and coherence with related national accounts data sets (GDP main aggregates, Government finance statistics). Validation against Balance of Payments and financial accounts are performed on an ad-hoc basis. Any lack of quality in this respect is regularly followed up with national authorities.

The same checks are applied to data for the European aggregates.

18.5. Data compilation

Several steps are necessary to convert the national accounts data by country into actual European accounts.

1. Validation of the core variables of the national data

All inconsistencies are removed from the data received from the Member States.

2. Conversion to Euro

For the Member States not participating in the euro area, i.e. for Greece in 1999 and 2000, for Slovenia prior to 2007, for Cyprus and Malta prior to 2008 and for Slovakia prior to 2009, transactions have been converted into euro using the average exchange rates for each quarter of the reference period. The growth rates of transactions for the EU are thus affected by movements in exchange rates and should be viewed with caution. There is almost no impact on ratios such as profit shares or saving rates. Exchange rate movements hardly affect the euro area accounts.

3. Estimation for missing countries, sectors or transactions

The countries having a GDP lower than 1% of the EU total, are subject to reporting obligations limited to the government and rest of world sectors. This is the case for: Luxembourg, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia (euro area) and Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Romania (non euro area). However, Czech Republic and Slovenia report full sector accounts on a voluntary basis (from 2005Q1 onwards for Slovenia). For incomplete or missing accounts, complementary estimations are carried out by Eurostat and ECB that are not published separately.

4. Estimation for the European institutions

The sector accounts provided by Member States do not record the activities of institutions and bodies set-up by European treaties as resident entities. For the general government sector, these are the following:

The Council
The Commission
The European Parliament
The Court of Justice
The Court of Auditors
The Social and Economic Committee
The Committee of the Regions
European agencies whose accounts are part of the general budget of the EU

Important transactions, especially transfers, take place between the above institutions and Member States. This is particularly the case for the Commission that is in charge of European policies. The accounts of the European institutions have then been included in European accounts, namely its government and rest of the world sectors. European institutions have not been considered in Euro Area accounts because their administrative competence goes beyond the boundaries of the monetary union.

Moreover, the accounts of the European Investment Bank, European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism have been included in the financial corporations sector (S.12) of the European Union accounts. European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism are also included in Euro area accounts.

5. The European rest of the world sector (RoW)

Transactions between the national economy and non-resident units, including those residing in other European Member States are recorded in the rest of the world (RoW) sectors compiled by the Member States. For instance, imports / exports recorded in Member States' national accounts include the goods and services bought from / sold to abroad, be it from/to a resident of the Euro Area / European Union or third countries.

To reflect appropriately the transactions between European areas and third countries, it is therefore necessary to remove, from the summation of national RoWs, the economic flows within the area considered. 

Such "intra-transactions" are estimated using the geographical breakdown provided by Balance of Payments (BoP) data. Because of different data vintages and conceptual differences, it is not possible to ensure full consistency between the European RoW sector and BoP statistics at this stage.  

For "intra-transactions", total resources should theoretically equal total uses. For instance, total imports from the Euro Area should equal total exports to the Euro Area. However, this is not the case in practice. The comparison of total intra-flows in resources and uses reveals imbalances called "asymmetries".  

As a consequence, European accounts cannot be derived by simply removing the intra-flows of each transaction. The resulting discrepancies have to be allocated to the different sectors in order to re-balance the European accounts. However, the accounts of government (S.13) are not modified by the balancing procedure.

18.6. Adjustment

The QSA transactions may be subject to seasonal fluctuations that can be removed either by seasonal adjustment techniques or by comparing a quarter with the same quarter of the previous year. The latter method allows tracing developments over a full year but not between two consecutive quarters. For the time being, a selection of analytical ratios (and their components), namely the household saving rate, household investment rate, non-financial corporations' investment rate and profit share are seasonally adjusted using the TRAMO/SEATS method. Details on the methodology of seasonal adjustment, as well as ARIMA models and parameters are available on the section dedicated to sector accounts of the website. The rest of the European sector accounts data are not seasonally adjusted.

Member States' accounts may also show statistical discrepancies (explicit or implicit) between GDP and the sum of components. In order to compile coherent and balanced set of sector accounts, some variables may be used to adjust for any possible lack of additivity between the total and the sum of its components, i.e. these variables are effectively used as balancing items.

For the expenditure approach of GDP, the balancing variable is most often changes in inventories (P.52).

For the income approach of GDP the balancing variables are gross operating surplus and mixed income (B.2g + B.3g).

For the output approach of GDP, the balancing variable is value added (B1G).

Some NSIs may also choose not to balance the statistical discrepancy. As statistical discrepancies are not explicitly recorded in sector accounts tables, in such cases these are manifested as discrepancies between the respective totals and sum of the components, as well as between total economy and sum of domestic sectors.

For the purpose of calculation of European aggregates, Eurostat corrects country data for such lack of additivity in order to produce coherent and balanced European sector accounts.


19. Comment Top

More details on sector accounts consistency with related data sets and other relevant issues by country are available here.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top