[ 04 ] The SNA as a System. Paul McCarthy

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1 [ 04 ] The SNA as a System Paul McCarthy National Accounts Workshop Washington - DC, October 25-26, 2010

2 System of National Accounts GDP is the bottom line but it is simply a summary measure The System of National Accounts (SNA) describes a comprehensive, integrated set of economic accounts, balance sheets and other tables describing the economic processes taking place within a country and the associated stocks Current system is System of National Accounts, 2008 ( 2008 SNA ) 1993 SNA being used for 2011 ICP 2

3 SNA as a framework The SNA is the framework for many economic statistics it provides the concepts, definitions, classifications, and accounting rules often used as standards for economic statistics in general not surprising, given that most economic statistics are used in compiling the national accounts 3

4 Design of the SNA Accounts that are linked to and consistent with each other Design reflects the needs of analysts who are trying to explain economic behaviour SNA describes in detail all the concepts likely to be required in a country flexible enough to meet the needs of countries at different stages of development some countries do not require all the detail, such as complex financial derivatives 4

5 National accounts as a framework Economic statistics collections Household expenditures Government expenditure Investment International trade Wages Profits Industry: agriculture manufacturing construction etc. Production Income Consumption Capital formation Balance of payments, Input-output (supply-use), Financial accounts (flow-of-funds) Balance sheets Volumes System of national accounts Institutional sectors: Households Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs) Financial corporations Non-financial corporations General government Rest of the world 5

6 Main users and uses Economic policy makers monitoring the economy forecasting and simulation international comparisons (ICP) contributions to international organisations Business economists financial markets market research contracts 6

7 Main users and uses (continued) Scientific researchers standardise research items, such as the ratio of R&D expenditure to GDP Teachers should provide the starting point for teaching economics General public judging a government s performance Statisticians framework and relationship to other statistics 7

8 What is a system of national accounts? Comprehensive set of accounts Fully integrated and consistent Complete accounting description of the economy the total economy regional accounts sectors and sub-sectors Concept of residence Observed values and also imputations Extensions satellite accounts 8

9 Key issues Who are transactions between? resident to resident resident to non-resident non-resident to resident Value of transactions goods and services produced/purchased/sold transfers Accounting period year quarter 9

10 Residence The concept of residence is very important in defining the transactions to be included in a country s national accounts Question is how do we distinguish the domestic economy from the rest of the world? on the basis of the residence of institutional units and not on currency or the nationality of those involved Residence is defined in terms of having a centre of economic interest in the economic territory of the country 10

11 Economic territory Geographic territory administered by a government within which goods, persons and capital circulate freely airspace, territorial waters, continental shelf territorial enclaves in rest of the world (embassies, consulates, military bases) free zones, offshore activities Excludes territorial enclaves of other countries on its territory 11

12 Centre of economic interest Centre of economic interest indicated by place of production activity for a lengthy (or indefinite) time the one year rule to cover problems such as students, construction companies, mobile equipment Foreign workers and cross-border workers location of dwelling (country in which the person maintains dwelling as principal residence) 12

13 Transactions A transaction is defined as an economic flow that is an interaction between institutional units by mutual agreement can be between residents or between residents and non-residents examples are a wage earner producing a good for a business (corporation) or a householder purchasing a product from a retailer Two transactors involved 13

14 Classifications Classification Of Individual COnsumption by Purpose (COICOP) for household expenditure Classification Of the Purposes of Non-profit Institutions serving households (COPNI) for NPISHs Classification Of the Functions Of Government (COFOG) for government Classification of Products by Activity (CPA) for gross fixed capital formation the CPA is consistent with the United Nations Central Product Classification (CPC) 14

15 Integrated accounts current accounts Production account (goods and services) Generation of income account Allocation of primary income account Secondary distribution of income account Redistribution of income in kind account Use of income account 15

16 Integrated accounts capital account Gross capital formation gross fixed capital formation building and construction machinery and equipment changes in inventories net acquisitions of valuables 16

17 Measuring GDP There are 3 approaches to measuring GDP by measuring the incomes accruing from production income approach by summing the value added of all industries in the economy production approach by summing final expenditures in the economy plus net exports of goods and services expenditure approach 17

18 Measuring GDP income approach Compensation of employees plus Gross operating surplus plus Gross mixed incomes plus Net taxes (i.e. taxes less subsidies) on both production and imports 18

19 Measuring GDP production approach GDP is the sum of value added of industries plus Net taxes and subsidies on products (if output is valued at basic prices) Note that value added is gross output minus intermediate consumption 19

20 Measuring GDP expenditure approach Expenditure on final consumption plus Gross capital formation plus Net exports (i.e. exports less imports) Expenditure approach is required for the ICP Reason is that it relates to final expenditures by households, government and corporations so the prices underlying the transactions can be observed more readily than those for the production approach, which requires 2 sets of prices (for output and intermediate inputs) 20

21 Measuring GDP expenditure approach Expenditure on final consumption households NPISHs government Gross capital formation gross fixed capital formation buildings and structures machinery and equipment changes in inventories net acquisition of valuables Net exports (i.e. exports less imports) 21

22 Flexible system The following are all integrated parts of the SNA: production accounts for industries supply-use (and input-output) tables price and volume measures including real income measures Can add extra features satellite accounts environment tourism unpaid household work social accounting matrices 22

23 Commodity flows The commodity-flow approach is based on the identity in the goods and services account, which shows how the total supply of a product is equal to the total amount used Output + imports (i.e. total supply) = intermediate consumption + final consumption + gross capital formation + exports (i.e. total uses) 23

24 Supply-use tables A commodity balance or a product-flow analysis for a single product is the starting point for a supply-use table Supply-use tables provide a detailed picture of all flows of goods and services in an economy they are based on the identity that the use of goods and services is equal to the supply of goods and services, not only for each good and service (or group of goods and/or services) but also for the economy as a whole 24

25 Presenting the national accounts National accounts data can be presented as monetary values indexes growth rates One of the main uses is the real growth based on changes in volumes volume levels depend on the base year in which they are expressed and they will change as the base year changes 25

26 Volume measures Base years used to be changed roughly every 5 years SNA93 recommends using chain volumes the base year is updated every year more up to date weights, so better reflect reality Advantage is a more realistic view of growth in the economy Disadvantage is the loss of additivity sum of components GDP 26

27 Volume measures (continued) Value = price X quantity Volumes remove the effects of price changes trivial for a single product The price relativities provide the weights used to aggregate the quantities of each product in each period When more than 1 product is involved, different results are obtained depending on the base period 27

28 Balance sheets Transaction accounts and balance sheets are integrated together they constitute a closed system Opening balance sheet values plus Changes due to transactions plus Changes due to revaluation plus Other changes in the volume of assets equals Closing balance sheet values 28

29 Flows and stocks Flows creation, transformation, exchange, transfer, extinction of economic value due to transactions or other events refer to all transactions within an accounting period (generally a quarter or year) are recorded in the accounts Stocks positions in, or holdings of assets and liabilities refer to a point in time (end of accounting period) recorded on the balance sheets 29

30 Most flows arise from transactions Transactions can be: supply domestic output, imports use consumption, capital formation, exports distributive compensation of employees, interest, dividends redistributive taxes on income & wealth, social security payments financial deposits, shares, loans 30

31 Some flows are not from transactions Other flows can affect volume economic appearance of assets depletion of natural assets catastrophic losses price changes nominal holding gains or losses classification demonetising gold 31

32 Stocks Stocks consist of assets and liabilities An asset is defined as an entity functioning as a store of value over which ownership rights are enforced, and from which economic benefits may be derived by its owner by holding it, or using it, over a period of time Assets include computer software and mineral deposits (which are used in economic activity but created through mineral exploration) 32

33 Stocks (continued) Assets exclude: human capital environmental assets that are not cultivated, such as fish stocks in the ocean A liability is established when one unit (the debtor) is obliged, under specific circumstances, to provide a payment or series of payments to another unit (the creditor) financial liabilities 33

34 System of national accounts - summary Transactions Production Income distribution Use of income Stocks Saving Capital transfers Other Flows Stocks Opening balance sheet Capital formation Revaluation Closing balance sheet Nonfinancial assets Net lending Nonfinancial assets Financial assets and liabilities Financial transactions Other volume changes Financial assets and liabilities 34

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