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Comparability

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Government Finances, Economic Statistics.
Jesper Søgaard Dreesen
+45 3917 3054

jsd@dst.dk

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National Accounts, Financial Accounts

The national accounts' financial accounts are prepared in accordance with international guidelines and are thus comparable across countries. The current guidelines were implemented in 2014.

As of September 2020, there is full comparability between the quarterly and annual financial accounts from 2017 onwards.

Danmarks Nationalbank has quarterly figures dating back to 2005, while Statistics Denmark has annual figures dating back to 1995. For the period before 2017, however, the two statistics do not match, which can primarily be attributed to different sources or methodological choices.

Comparability - geographical

Internationally, there is a high degree of comparability in relation to other countries' financial accounts, as the Danish financial accounts have been prepared in accordance with the ESA2010 guidelines, which are a European version of the UN "A System of National Accounts 2008" (SNA2008).

The financial accounts are reported on an ongoing basis to Eurostat and the ECB in two different reports (annual and quarterly). After a thorough validation of data, Eurostat and the ECB then publish the figures in their databank, while sending the figures to other international databases - such as the OECD. The Danish financial accounts are thereby made available for comparison with corresponding statistics for the other countries.

Comparability over time

As a general rule, the national accounts' financial accounts are fully comparable over time, as the implementation of fundamentally new international guidelines also entails backward revisions to ensure comparability over time.

The annual financial accounts go back to 1995. The quarterly financial accounts go back to 2005.

In connection with Statistics Denmark and Danmarks Nationalbank initiating a collaboration on the production of the national accounts' financial accounts in 2020, new time series have been established from the first quarter of 2017 onwards. As the new common IT system, compared with the previous ones in Statistics Denmark and Danmarks Nationalbank, respectively, is based on new sources and new methods, the calculation of financial accounts from 2017 onwards is not comparable with the historical figures. The document Overgang til nyt fælles NB/DST system finansielle konti (30/9-2020) contains a description of the difference between the new and the historical time series. Statistics Denmark and Danmarks Nationalbank plan to establish back data.

Coherence - cross domain

The financial accounts are part of the national accounts. There is therefore consistency between the financial accounts of the national accounts and the non-financial national accounts, including the aggregated macro data for the whole economy. The conceptual framework of financial accounts helps to ensure that, in principle, there is full comparability between all publications of the national accounts.

Direct comparison of financial accounts with micro-data is more complicated, however, as different concept definitions, calculation methods, sources and reconciliation can be the cause of discrepancies.

Coherence - internal

There are per. definition consistency between the financial accounts and other national accounts data.