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Implementation and impact of the European System of Accounts 2010

Statistical standards for producing the euro area accounts

The quarterly euro area accounts (EAA) present comprehensive information on the income, spending, financing and portfolio decisions of the institutional sectors of the euro area.

The EAA are produced by integrating the quarterly financial accounts with the quarterly non-financial accounts by institutional sector.

It is therefore essential that the national accounts contributions and other data are compiled in accordance with the same statistical standards. Applying a harmonised methodology ensures that the national accounts statistics are consistent, comparable and reliable. For the European Union (EU), the relevant standards are the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA).

The updated ESA statistical standards

In September 2014 the new ESA 2010 replaced the ESA 1995. The ESA 2010 is the European counterpart of the System of National Accounts (SNA) 2008. The revised system, set up by the ESA 2010 Regulation, was implemented in the EU in a coordinated manner. It adapted the national accounts to the current economic environment, advances in methodologies and changing user needs. The Regulation lays down compulsory methodological standards, definitions, classifications and accounting rules for compiling national accounts statistics in the EU.

The European Central Bank (ECB) contributed to several of the chapters in the ESA 2010 which are closely related to the statistical framework of the European System of Central Banks. In particular, the ECB provided substantial input for the definition of the financial corporations sector, as well as for the description of financial assets and liabilities and their presentation in the sequence of accounts.

The ESA 2010 entails changes to both the financial and the non-financial accounts of the EAA. The first ESA 2010-based EAA were published in October 2014. For detailed information on the main methodological changes to the EAA resulting from the ESA 2010, please see the following documents:

The changeover to the ESA 2010 was also used to introduce new, internationally standardised series codes for all time series. In order to make the transition from the old to the new series clearer for users, a mapping file between the ESA 95 and ESA 2010 quarterly sector accounts series, as published in ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse, is provided below. The file includes mappings for all ESA 95 series previously disseminated under financial sector accounts (the IEAQ dataset) and national non-financial sector accounts (IEAF dataset).

Mapping file between the ESA 95 and the ESA 2010 series keys (sector accounts)

Changeover of the quarterly financial accounts: impact assessment

The ECB in coordination with the national compilers carried out an ex post impact assessment of the changeover to ESA 2010 and Guideline ECB/2013/24. The main results are:

  • At the euro area level, total revisions were small. Assets and liabilities of resident sectors increased by about 1¼%. Reclassifications of holding companies from non-financial corporations to financial corporations and increased coverage of special-purpose entities (SPEs) in the financial sector (and their non-resident counterparts) were the main factors at the sectoral level.
  • At the country level, the results are much more diverse. Total revisions are concentrated in the above-mentioned sectors. With very few exceptions, revisions to the government and household sectors were small.
  • Net financial worth (i.e. financial assets less liabilities) was often revised downwards and declined at the euro area level by EUR 175 billion.
  • Loans as well as shares and other equity were more revised than other instruments, reflecting also the balance sheet composition of newly covered SPEs.
  • Other (non-ESA-related) revisions were in most cases higher than ESA-related revisions. Besides better coverage of SPEs, there were several, often country-specific reasons (e.g. new sources, reclassifications, benchmark revisions).

Overall, the changeover has not led to major changes in stocks, transactions or relative shares at the euro area level, and the same holds true at the EU level. However, there were considerable statistical changes and revisions in a number of EU countries.

Changeover of the quarterly financial accounts to ESA 2010 and Guideline ECB/2013/24: impact assessment

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