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National Accounts

Ongoing Work

 • Contributes as a member of the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) to the international coordination, development and updating of the System of National Accounts (SNA), the internationally accepted statistical standard of the national accounts. The System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) is the latest version of the SNA.

• Serves as the Secretariat to the ISWGNA by providing logistical and administrative support to the research and implementation programme of the ISWGNA and the Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts (AEG).

• Administers and maintains the website of the ISWGNA, which provides a platform for coordination and monitoring of the research and implementation programme for the SNA. It provides links to the work programmes of the ISWGNA members and the Regional Commissions and the progress on the research agenda of the SNA including the activities of the AEG. The website is available at: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/default.asp.

• Drafts, publishes and disseminates the bi-annual ISWGNA newsletter "SNA News and Notes" in cooperation with the members of the ISWGNA. The newsletter contains information on developments in research issues relevant for the SNA and related international standards; clarifications, interpretations and changes in the SNA; country experiences in the SNA implementation as well as publications, meetings and seminars and other relevant information.

• Drafts in collaboration with the ISWGNA members, the annual ISWGNA report to the Statistical Commission which sets out the strategy and status of progress of statistical programme for the SNA in part based on country assessments of their scope and detail of implementation of the accounts of the SNA and their conceptual compliance with the SNA recommendations.

• Undertakes methodological research on issues on the international research agenda for the SNA in collaboration with the ISWGNA with a present priority on FISIM, globalisation-related issues, the recording of investment income of pension funds and investment funds, stability fees, measurement of land and non-financial assets and pension liabilities.

• Supports the implementation programme of the 2008 SNA by developing and updating supporting normative standards, training material and compilation guidance for the implementation of national accounts and supporting economic statistics.

• Delivers a statistical capacity building programme for the implementation of the 2008 SNA and supporting statistics through a series of regional and interregional workshops and seminar in collaboration with the Regional Commissions and regional agencies and through a limited number of individual country technical assistance missions.

• Collects and disseminates official annual national accounts statistics from countries and publishes them in the National Accounts Statistics: Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables. The data are also available electronically through the UNdata website at http://data.un.org/.

• Prepares national accounts estimates to complement the official national accounts statistics from countries to obtain consistent and complete time series and publishes them in the National Accounts Statistics: Analysis of Main Aggregates.

• Maintains the National Accounts Main Aggregates Database which contains a complete and consistent set of time series from 1970 onwards of main national accounts aggregates and derived analytical indicators and ratios for more than 200 countries and territories. These data are available on the web at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/snaama/Introduction.asp.

• Provides services to the Committee for Contributions of the United Nations through research on the methodology of the scale of assessment (i.e. contributions to the United Nations by Member States), and the actual calculation of the scale of assessment. This also includes the provision of services to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations in respect to the scale of assessment.

New methodological work

 • Prepare a national accounts handbook on Financial production, flows and stock in the SNA.

• Develops guidelines on the requirements for the statistical production process of economic statistics and short term economic indicators to facilitate the implementation of the 2008 SNA.

• Coordinate work to develop a handbook on input-output tables.