Gross Domestic Product

Relevance

The National Accounts Unit publishes quarterly and annual National Accounts of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and its components, annual sector accounts, and supply and use tables.  Annual and quarterly National Accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts - ESA 2010, and regulation (EU) No. 549/2013 on the European system of national and regional Accounts.  National Accounts provide a set of reliable, consistent, and comparable macroeconomic indicators intended to meet the needs of government and private-sector analysts, policy makers and decision takers.

Methodological description

GDP is compiled by integrating various data sources including surveys and censuses, administrative records as well as extrapolations and models.  The data are published in current prices, previous year’s prices and chain-linked volumes.  Chain-linking allows the user to compute the real growth of GDP components using the most up-to-date base year possible (i.e.  the preceding year).  This means that growth rates reflect the economic changes and dynamics more accurately, even when considering data from a distant time-period when compared to the reference year.

GDP may be derived using the output, expenditure and income approach. 

  • The output approach sums the gross value added of various activities, plus taxes and less subsidies on products.
  • The expenditure approach of GDP is defined as private final consumption expenditure plus government final consumption expenditure plus gross capital formation plus exports less imports.  Final consumption expenditure consists of expenditure incurred by residential institutional units on goods or services that are used for the direct satisfaction of the individual needs or wants or the collective needs of members of the community.  Gross capital formation is the sum of gross fixed capital formation and the change in inventories.
  • The income approach sums the compensation of employees, taxes on production and imports less subsidies on production, gross operating surplus, and mixed income.  The income approach shows how GDP is distributed among different participants in the production process.

Accuracy and reliability of data

The accuracy of National Accounts results is ensured through validation checks made to  data sources during processing.  Such checks include growth rate analysis in turnover and employment; analysis of absolute changes over the same quarter of the preceding year; ratio analysis; comparisons at company level and in disaggregated levels (e.g.  by specific tax); and checks for data plausibility (e.g.  increase in interest is backed by increase in stock of loans/deposits or market trends in interest rates); cross-checks in between various data sources.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

A quarterly news release is published with annual and quarterly GDP data covering the output, expenditure, and income approach.  News releases are available on the NSO’s website and are published on the pre-established date, as scheduled in the Advance Release CalendarAggregated data at current prices are also available on the NSO’s Statistical Database (StatDB).

GDP is transmitted to Eurostat at t+70 days by regulation.  The news release is generally published at least a day before. 

A metadata report is also produced at national level and disseminated on NSO’s metadata website. 

Accessibility and clarity of data

A publication on the Supply, Use and Input-Output Tables has been released for reference year 2010.  Over the years, supply and use tables have been calculated for 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2008 too.  The input-output tables have been calculated and published since the adoption of the European System of Accounts (ESA) 2010, which replaces the old framework of 1995.  Both sets of tables for 2010 are in line with the ESA 2010 and were published in 2015.

Coherence and comparability / consistency of data

National Accounts data are comparable since year 1995 following the adoption of ESA 2010 (all National Accounts aggregates have been revised in full detail for the whole time series back to 1995).  Quarterly data are consistently linked with annual results. 

In certain cases, data from other domains of economic statistics may not be coherent with published National Accounts data due to different methodology or timeliness set by other EU regulations, which are not in line with the ESA transmission programme.  In particular, deadlines for National Accounts and Balance of Payments are not the same, thus statistics published by both domains at national and Eurostat level may not match.  Moreover, there is an issue with the revision policies across domains where the Public Finance statistics keep on updating the back series due to Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) requirements.  The disclosure of imports and exports of goods in External Trade statistics differs from that in National Accounts and Balance of Payments statistics due to difference in concepts, timeliness, and coverage. 

National GDP is coherent with Regional GDP data as at December of each year (being updated only once per year in December).  The supply and use tables of 2000, 2001 and 2004 are in a different classification to those compiled for 2008 and 2010, and thus are not directly comparable.

 

Other Documents:​ ​
​A New Framework for National Accounts
GNI Inventory
Process Tables
​QNA Inventory

Contact Information: 

 
​Ms Vanessa Dimech​
Head of Unit​
2599 7254
nationalaccounts.nso@gov.mt