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National Accounts, Institutional Sectors

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Government Finances, Economic Statistics.
Kathrine Lindeskov Johansen
+45 3917 3067

klj@dst.dk

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National Accounts, Institutional Sectors

Last updated: 01-04-2020

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 national accounts provide an overview of the activities and the development of the Danish economy. They contain key indicators such as the gross domestic product (GDP) and figures for private consumption, investments, exports and imports, employment and earnings 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.

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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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Relevance

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 national accounts is released 60 days after the end of the quarter. In connection with the publication of the fourth quarter at the end of February, the first version of the annual national accounts is also published. Almost three years after the end of the year, the final annual and quarterly national accounts are published. The national accounts are published punctually.

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Comparability

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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