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Accuracy and reliability

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Government Finances, Economic statistics
Ulla Ryder Jørgensen
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Regional Accounts

Regional accounts are subject to the same margins of uncertainty as the annual national accounts and the inaccuracy here relates to the inaccuracy of the various sources used. However, the conceptual consistency and over time uniform adaptation of the sources contribute to reduce the inaccuracy of the national accounts figures. In particular, the combination of the primary sources into a coherent system in many cases reveals errors, which are therefore not reflected in the final national accounts. With regard to the regional dimension the following factors can be mentioned:

Overall accuracy

The accuracy of the regional accounts is generally linked to the accuracy of the national accounts. Some parts of the national accounts can be calculated more accurately than others. Eg. For the industrial area, quite accurate data are available. Other parts of the national accounts are based on calculations and estimates due to limited source data, including, for example, consumption of owner-occupied housing and undeclared work. Therefore, the accuracy is be expected to be lower. The first versions for a given period are made before all the data for the period are available. Therefore, alternative sources are used to project the sources, e.g. indicators from the business cycle statistics. The preliminary versions of the national accounts will thus be less accurate than later versions.

In addition to the uncertainty associated with the national accounts in general, there are also uncertainties associated with the regional dimension. In some cases, regional information is not available, which is why it is necessary to use indicators to allocate the national totals.

Sampling error

Not relevant for these statistics.

Non-sampling error

Besides the uncertainty which is connected to the national accounts the following uncertainties regarding the regional dimension should be mentioned.

  • Concerning the regionalisation of each industry, a certain margin of uncertainty, both with respect to concepts and data, is associated with the areas of: Transport, financial intermediation and insurance and pension funding. Conceptually, it is e.g. difficult to determine the location for the production of railway services, and as far as the figures are concerned, the use of quantitative indicators for the regionalisation of economic variables is necessary.
  • Regarding price indices the regional accounts are deflated on the basis of the national price indices, which may affect the figures at chained prices to the extent that there are regional differences in prices.
  • Furthermore, the convention generally applied by Eurostat in compiling GDP is that taxes less subsidies on products are regionally allocated in proportion with gross value added. It goes without saying that as far as concepts are concerned, it is not possible to establish an objective criterion for this allocation. To a certain extent, this may have an effect on the accuracy of the calculation of growth in each region. -There is an uncertainty in connection with the distribution between local unit of companies with local units in more the on region, as production etc. distributed on the basis of employment figures. In this way, production in highly productive local units (e.g. high-intensity local units) can be underestimated and, conversely, it can be overestimated in local units, where there is a relatively high labour input.

In addition, there is a general uncertainty associated with the first preliminary publication of a given year, because not all sources are available.

Quality management

Statistics Denmark follows the recommendations on organisation and management of quality given in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and the implementation guidelines given in the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF). A Working Group on Quality and a central quality assurance function have been established to continuously carry through control of products and processes.

Quality assurance

Statistics Denmark follows the principles in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and uses the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF) for the implementation of the principles. This involves continuous decentralized and central control of products and processes based on documentation following international standards. The central quality assurance function reports to the Working Group on Quality. Reports include suggestions for improvement that are assessed, decided and subsequently implemented.

Quality assessment

The ESA 2010 regulation requires that Eurostat assess the quality of data reported under the ESA transmission program. This is done on the basis of the countries' quality reports which are not published independently by Eurostat. The report is prepared annually. Read the quality assessment of Denmark's national accounts in: Quality Report, Denmark 2017 - National Accounts

Data revision - policy

Statistics Denmark revises published figures in accordance with the Revision Policy for Statistics Denmark. The common procedures and principles of the Revision Policy are for some statistics supplemented by a specific revision practice.

Data revision practice

Regional accounts are declared final in line with the national accounts. The preliminary regional accounts are thus based on the preliminary national accounts. In addition the sources used to allocate activity to regions can be provisional for the preliminary years. The two latest years in regional accounts are preliminary.