Eurostat review on national accounts and macroeconomic indicators
The production of European statistics is governed by a code of practice that includes the principles defining their quality. The articles in this issue of EURONA address several of these principles — relevance, accuracy, timeliness and coherence — and thus contribute to improving the quality of statistics. In the first article, Jan van Tongeren and Ruud Picavet argue that the relevance of national accounts and other integrated statistics could be improved by bringing their compilation closer to the analytical use for which they are designed. They discuss methods to integrate different types of... data into a unifying framework like the national accounts. They propose a Bayesian estimation approach that takes the reliabilities of the data, the indicators and ratios explicitly into account. They demonstrate the method using a detailed dataset from the Netherlands. One advantage of the method is to enhance the transparency and reproducibility of national accounts compilation methods. But the authors show that the methods can be extended beyond national accounting. In the second article, Antonio Chessa discusses a very topical subject in price statistics, which is the use of scanner data to compile consumer price indices (CPIs). The use of 'big data' like scanner data could contribute to CPIs with higher accuracy due to bigger samples. A new method is proposed, the quality-adjusted unit value approach, which is similar to the Geary-Khamis method in international comparisons. The method is applied to several products using actual data and is already used by Statistics Netherlands for the CPI on mobile phones. In April 2016, Eurostat started publishing the first euro area and EU GDP estimates at 30 days after the reference quarter. In the third article, Arto Kokkinen and Hans Wouters describe the development and methodology of these flash estimates. They elaborate the results of the tests that were undertaken during the development, which focussed on the revisions that were made to the flash estimates in subsequent releases. This work has made a great contribution towards improving the timeliness of national accounts data. In the fourth article, Robert Obrzut analyses the coherence between the national accounts and balance of payments statistics in Europe. He shows that, although the methodological standards of the two areas are fully consistent, in practice there remain smaller and larger differences. A closer coordination between the different actors in the compilation of these statistics might improve the consistency.
- Corporate author(s): Eurostat (European Commission) Themes: Economy and finance
- Subject: data processing, database, economic indicator, economic statistics, EU statistics, European accounting system, European Union, financial statistics, macroeconomics, national accounts, national income, new technology, serial publication, statistical method
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