The basic economic unit in National Accounts is known as the institutional unit. It is an elementary, economic decision-making centre characterised by uniformity of behaviour and autonomy in the exercise of its principal function. Institutional units are grouped into sectors based on principal activity and function, economic behaviour and objectives. The distinction of sectors within National Accounts makes it possible to measure the role of key contributors in the economy: their production, income and use of income, investments and net worth. The accounts for sectors record all the activities, whether principal or secondary, of the institutional units covered.
• Non-financial corporations (S.11)
• Financial corporations (S.12)
• General government (S.13)
• Households (S.14)
• Non-profit institutions serving households (S.15)
Corporations (financial and non-financial) are institutional units created for the purpose of producing goods or services for the market. Government units organise and finance the provision of non-market goods and services to households and the community at large and, therefore, incur final consumption expenditure. They may also engage in non-market production themselves and are also concerned with the distribution and redistribution of income and wealth through taxation and other transfers. Households are primarily consumer units, but can engage in any kind of economic activity. They not only supply labour to enterprises but may also operate their own producer units in the form of unincorporated enterprises. Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs) are institutional units created for the purpose of producing or distributing goods or services, and not for generating any income or profit.
The institutional sectors comprise various economic activities as indicated below (using 2-digit NACE Rev 2)
• Non-financial corporations (S.11); All economic activities except NACE 64-66, 84;
• Financial corporations (S.12); NACE 64, 65 and 66;
• General government (S.13); NACE 01, 03, 18, 32, 33, 38, 41, 71, 77, 78, 81, 84-88, 90, 91 and 93;
• Households (S.14); All economic activities except NACE 64-66;
• Non-profit institutions serving households (S.15); NACE 20, 49, 58-60, 82, 85-88, 90, 91, 93 and 94.
The breakdown by institutional sector reflects updated information from the Business Register, which provides data on turnover and gainfully occupied persons and supersedes previous releases.
The production and generation of income accounts are published on a yearly basis by the NSO for 2005 onwards with a time lag of one year.