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National accounts

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National accounts

National accounts are an indispensable set of tools for economic monitoring.

They provide a comprehensive quantitative picture of economic development. National accounts consist of domestic product calculation, input-output accounts, national wealth accounts, employment accounts, labour volume accounts and financial accounts.

National accounts data are used to check whether the targets of the Stability and Growth Pact "EU Stability Pact" are met.


In FOCUS / 2014-09-04

New GDP calculation: very little impact on economic growth in Germany

National accounts are based on rules and concepts agreed upon at the international level. Such rules and concepts are adjusted at certain intervals to allow adequate and internationally comparable representation of new economic issues. In the 2014 major revision, the new standards of ESA 2010 were implemented in the EU on 1 September 2014.

As a result of the methodological changeover, the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) for Germany is higher than the previous level by an average of roughly 3%. The increase in levels refers to all quarters and years of the entire time series in roughly the same magnitude. The main reason is that, according to the new concepts, expenditure on research and development belongs to capital formation.

However, this has had very little effect on economic growth - the price-adjusted rates of change in a quarter-on-quarter or year-on-year comparison - because all variables have been recalculated backwards to 1991. The annual average growth rate for the period from 1991 to 2013 has remained virtually unchanged, while the quarterly rates of change have been revised by up to 0.4 percentage points upwards or downwards. The basic cyclical pattern of the time series, however, has remained largely unchanged.

More information is contained in the explanations on the 2014 major revision.



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