Sources & Methods


Institutional sectors combine institutional units with broadly similar characteristics and behaviour: non-financial corporations, financial corporations, households, non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs), and the government.  Transactions carried out between resident institutional units and non-resident units are recorded in the ‘rest of the world’ account.

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.  Sector Accounts record all the activities, whether principal or secondary, of the institutional units covered.  Institutional units are the basic economic units in National Accounts.

The non-financial Annual Sector Accounts (ASA) are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) and are transmitted to Eurostat following the ESA 2010 transmission programme established by Regulation (EU) No. 549/2013.  The ASA encompass non-financial accounts that provide a description of the different stages of the economic process.  The ASA record the economic flows of institutional sectors in order to illustrate their economic behaviour and interactions between them.

Methodological description

The compilation of non-financial accounts by institutional sector relies on the integration of various data sources, including surveys and censuses, administrative records, and extrapolations and models.  The concepts, definitions and classifications are based on the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).  The statistical unit is the institutional unit, defined as an “elementary economic decision-making centre characterised by uniformity of behaviour and decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function.”

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 and checks for data plausibility.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

The ‘Non-Financial Accounts by Institutional Sector’ news release is published annually as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar on the pre-established date.  Such data is published in October of year t+1 and covers reference period year t-5 to year t.

Data should be transmitted to Eurostat within 9 months after the end of the reference year.

Accessibility and clarity of data

The national news release is made available on the NSO’s website.

Non-financial account by institutional sector data is available also on the NSO’s Statistical Database (StatDB).

Coherence and comparability / consistency of data

The comparability with other European Union member states is ensured by the application of common definitions and methodological framework established by ESA 2010, which is based on internationally agreed System of National Accounts (SNA 2008).

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.​

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