Revision of national accounts time series


On 29th August this year Statistics Norway will publish revised national accounts time series. Both the level and the growth rates of GDP are only to a minor extent affected by the revisions.

National accounts figures are on current basis published in several versions before so-called final figures are presented about 20 months after the accounting year. In addition to revisions within this fixed publication cycle it is from time to time necessary to compile and publish revised national accounts figures further back in time. Such a main revision was carried out in 2014, when new international recommendations on treatment of expenditures on research and development (R&D) and on recording of purchases of military weapons were changed.

In the forthcoming main revision there is no change in fundamental definitions and principles of the national accounts, but rather revisions of a more practical nature. One change is a reclassification of a few units within transportation from the corporate sector to the general government sector. This reclassification implies a change in method for estimating these units’ contribution to GDP. Another important part of the revision is the introduction of a new major administrative source used for the estimation of compensation of employees in the Norwegian economy. A few other revisions have been made to the time series.

Minor impact on macro-economic aggregates

The total effect of the revisions can for the year 2016 be illustrated as a small downward adjustment of the level of GDP, while the growth rate is hardly affected at all. For previous years the revisions of the macro-economic variables are even less than those for the year 2016.