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National Accounts, Institutional Sectors

The National Accounts statistics, institutional sectors, are part of the national accounts system and consist of coherent definitions and classifications that show how the income of the sectors is created, distributed and redistributed. They provide both a description of the economy in general and of the transactions between persons, enterprises and institutions. The national accounts also include transactions between Denmark and the rest of the world. This set of statistics was first published in 1983. Coherent annual time series are available back to 1995, while quarterly figures are available from the first quarter of 1999 onwards.

Statistical presentation

The sector accounts provide an overview of the activities and the development of the Danish economy. They contain key indicators such as the gross value added (GDP) and figures for private consumption, investments, exports and imports, earnings and property incomes as well as the profit in six main sectors (non-financial corporations, financial corporations, general government, households, non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) and the external sector) and productivity in the industries. They also include figures for the many sub-classifications, which facilitates analysis of various cross-sections of the national economy.

The compilation of National Accounts in 2020 and 2021 is affected by additional uncertainty in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is especially true in the first compilations where source material is scarce. As more information becomes available, the National Accounts will be updated. Read more (only available in Danish) at

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Statistical processing

Basically, all economic statistics available are used for the national accounts. When the first estimate for a given period is prepared, it is done before all source data for the period is available. The calculations are based on the structure of the last final national accounts, which is projected with indicators from e.g. the business cycle statistics. When new source data becomes available, it is incorporated in the national accounts at set intervals. Three years after a given period, the national accounts are regarded as final.

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The purpose of these statistics is to clarify how income is generated as a result of the productive activity in society, which is then redistributed before it provides a basis for demand for goods and services for consumption and investment. The institutional sectors are relevant to everyone concerned with socio-economic conditions. The field ranges from the financial, economic and fiscal ministries’ use of the national accounts to common interest in knowledge about the trend of the economy. The press is particularly interested in the figures for the household sector.

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Accuracy and reliability

The ability of the national accounts to describe the economic reality accurately depends partly on the uncertainty associated with the sources and partly on the model assumptions guiding their preparation. It is possible to draw up some parts more accurately than others, as better source data is available. The first estimates of national accounts for a period will be more uncertain than the final version, which is released after three years, as revisions are made regularly as new source data becomes available.

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Timeliness and punctuality

The first version of the quarterly sector accounts is released 90 days after the end of the quarter. In connection with the publication of the fourth quarter at the end of March, the first version of the annual sector accounts is also published. Almost three years after the end of the year, the final annual and quarterly national accounts are published. The sector accounts are published punctually.

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The national accounts are prepared according to international guidelines and, as a result, they will be comparable across countries. The current guidelines were implemented in 2014 and have been applied for revision of the national accounts back to 1966, however 1971 for institutional sectors. They reflect all parts of the national economy, so that most economic statistics contain figures that have their counterparts in the national accounts, which are e.g. fully consistent with the balance of payments and general government. For other statistics, the transition will often be complicated due to different definitions and requirements for coverage.

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Accessibility and clarity

The statistics are published in a number of tables in the StatBank under National accounts and government finances.

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