National accounts and business cycles
The annual national accounts have now been updated with preliminary figures for 2016.

Annual non-financial sector accounts, national accounts2016

A of 7 June 2017 the statistics will be published as Quarterly non-Financial sector accounts, national accounts.

The institutional sector accounts record economic transactions of the institutional sectors in national accounts. Non-financial and financial accounts by institutional sector is updated quarterly in StatBank.


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Annual non-financial sector accounts, national accounts
Topic: National accounts and business cycles

Responsible division

Division for National Accounts

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

See Concepts and definitions in national accounts for definitions of variables and other concepts used in the national accounts.

Standard classifications

The accounting system of the Norwegian national accounts is based on the international standards for national accounts, i.e. 2008 SNA and ESA 2010. The accounting system outlines the framework and contents for the production of national accounts statistics. In addition to accounting structure, the accounting system contains a number of groupings or classifications used in the national accounts, of which the most important for the non-financial sector accounts are  

Institutional sectors

The institutional units (see section Production) are grouped in institutional sectors on the basis of their principal economic functions, behavior and objectives.The classification of institutional sectors in the non-financial sector accounts is based on the principles in 2008 SNA and ESA 2010, as well as Statistics Norway's standard Institutional Sector Classification 2012 (which also is based on 2008 SNA and ESA 2010). The main sectors in the economy are the non-financial corporations, financial corporations, general government, households, non-profit institutions serving households and rest of the world. See Concepts and definitions in national accounts for an explanation of the main sectors The main sectors are classified into more detailed sectors and sub-sectors. Figures from the non-financial sector accounts are published separately for the different main sectors in the economy, and final annual figures are also published in some more detail, see Sectors in the Norwegian Non-financial Sector Accounts.

Administrative information

Regional level

National level.

Frequency and timeliness

Annual statistics. The first version for year t is published in March of year t+1, based on the quarterly non-financial sector accounts (qnri), followed by revisions in June, in August/September and December t+1. The final version is published in August/September year t+2.

International reporting

Eurostat, OECD.


Not relevant


Background and purpose

The national accounts (NA) statistics are designed to provide a consistent and comprehensive survey of the overall national economy. The annual national accounts provide a summarised description of the economy as a whole and a detailed description of transactions between different parts of the Norwegian economy, and between Norway and the rest of the world. The national accounts also provide information on capital stocks and employment.

National accounts are used as a tool to compare the economic situation in different countries, and therefore it is important that national accounts in various countries are based on a common template. Staff involved in elaborating national accounts in Statistics Norway participated actively in developing international recommendations and concepts regarding national accounts. The first international standard for national accounts, 1953 System of National Accounts (1953 SNA), was published by UN in 1953.

The first national accounts for Norway based on modern principles were published by Statistics Norway in 1952, and between 1960 and 1970, the national accounts in Norway were developed considerably and adapted to the updated international recommendations in 1968 SNA. In the first decades the published national accounts in Norway did only cover the parts of the national accounts we refer to as the real accounts (or the annual national accounts, see section Production). Non-financial sector accounts, based on modern principles, were first published for the year 1978.

Pursuant to the EEA agreement, Norway is obliged to follow the European recommendations for national accounts in the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA). The first version of ESA from 1970 based on 1968 SNA, was not obliging for Norway. A revised version of SNA, published by UN, OECD, IMF, EU and the World Bank, 1993 System of National Accounts caused a revision also of ESA (ESA95). This European framework for compilation of national accounts is consistent with 1993 SNA with regard to definitions, classifications and other principles, but focus on the conditions and requirements for data in the European Union. To incorporate the revised recommendations in 1993 SNA and ESA 1995, as well as many new source statistics, the Norwegian NA was subject to an extensive main revision in the 1990th.

Statistics Norway has recently carried out a new main revision published in November 2014, to incorporate updated international recommendations in 2008 SNA and ESA 2010. Changes due to this main revision are described, among else, in the article Main revision 2014. Planned changes in the national accounts statistics.

From the Norwegian national accounts were established and until today, Statistics Norway has carried out 6 main revisions. The previous main revision, published in 2011 is described in the article Revised national accounts figures 1970-2010.

The publication History of national accounts in Norway. From free research to statistics regulated by law provides more information about the history of national accounts in Norway, including main revisions.

In the future main revisions of the national accounts normally will be carried out every five years.

Users and applications

The national accounts are an important tool for macroeconomic analysis, and Statistics Norway's macroeconomic models are based on the national accounts.

Major users of the national accounts are the Ministry of Finance and other ministries, Norges Bank (the Norwegian central bank), research institutes, financial sector analysts, international organisations, the media etc.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08.00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The annual non-financial sector accounts are fully consistent with other parts of the national accounts statistics, that is the annual national accounts (the real accounts), the quarterly national accounts, and the quarterly non-financial sector accounts. The Norwegian Balance of Payments (BoP) is an integrated system in the Norwegian system of national accounts, and the BoP figures are fully consistent with other NA figures, including the annual non-financial sector accounts.The regional accounts by county, as well as various satellite accounts (environment, tourism, health, non-profit institutions) are all based on the annual NA, so these accounts are therefore also consistent and compatible with the annual non-financial sector accounts. Previous published figures from the regional accounts and various satellite accounts are, however, not revised as a part of main revision of the national accounts, so figures for previous years may not necessarily be compatible with updated national accounts time series.

As mentioned in the chapter "Production: Data sources and sampling", the national accounts are based on various statistical sources. The source statistics may not use the same definitions or groupings as the national accounts. As a result, figures in the source statistics may be adapted or corrected before use in the national accounts. Published figures in the source statistics of certain industries may therefore not correspond to published figures in the national accounts.

Legal authority

Not relevant

EEA reference

Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 (ESA 2010).

The European Parliament and of the council of 21 May 2013 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union (text with EEA relevance).



The coverage of the national accounts is defined by international guidelines in the 2008 System of National Accounts (2008 SNA) published by the UN, the OECD, the IMF, the World Bank, and the Commission of the European Communities, and the European System of National and Regional Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010) published by Eurostat/the EC Commission.

The total national economy and the distinction between the national economy and foreign countries is defined in terms of resident units. A unit is defined as a resident unit of the country when it has a centre of economic interest in the economic territory of the country - i.e. when it is involved in economic activities on this territory for an extended period of time (one year or more).

Two basic types of information are recorded in the national accounts: flows and stocks. Flows refer to actions and effects of events that take place within a given period of time, for example the output of an industry in one year. Stocks refer to positions at a certain point of time, for example the value of capital stock or the number of employed persons.

The national accounts comprise two fundamental statistical units: institutional units and local kind-of-activity units (establishments). Institutional units are economic entities that are capable of owning goods and assets, of incurring liabilities and of engaging in economic activities and transactions with other units in their own right. An institutional unit contains one or more local kind-of-activity units (local KAUs). The local KAUs are classified by type of activity. An activity is characterised by an input of products, a production process and final products. All local KAUs engaged in the same, or similar kind-of-activity constitute an industry.

The national accounts consist of two main sets of tables; the supply and use tables (SUT), also described as the real accounts, and the institutional sector accounts. The real accounts (the annual real accounts are referred to as the annual national accounts when publishing the data) are based on local KAU.

The non-financial sector accounts are based on institutional units. Institutional units are capable of providing a full set of accounts. The non-financial sector accounts therefore describe all economic transactions in the various sectors. The accounts also provide information on the stocks financial and non-financial capital. Financial sector accounts are also based on institutional units. The institutional units are grouped in institutional sectors on the basis of their principal economic functions, behavior and objectives; see Section Definition, Classification.

The non-financial sector accounts are consistent with the real accounts. This description of the national accounts covers the non-financial sector accounts.

Data sources and sampling

The non-financial sector accounts are based on many different statistical sources, mainly statistics from other Divisions in Statistics Norway.

Since the non-financial sector accounts are based on, and reconciliated with, figures from the annual national accounts (the real accounts) all statistical sources used in the real accounts are used indirectly also in the non-financial sector accounts, including figures from the Balance of Payments statistics and Labour accounts.

In addition to this, the calculations of the annual non-financial are also directly based on the statistics general government revenue and expenditures, accounting statistics for financial and to non-financial enterprises, tax statistics, income and deduction statistics and balance of payments statistics.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The national accounts are based on source statistics mainly collected by other divisions in Statistics Norway (see the section above).The source statistics may be adjusted in order to fulfil the requirements of the national accounts, that is the principles and definitions in the 2008 SNA and ESA 2010 (see sections above). For parts of the economy with incomplete statistical coverage, it is necessary to rely on calculations and estimations.

Figures from the annual national accounts, the Balance of Payments statistics, the labour accounts and the most important source statistics are transferred electronically to the calculation system for the non-financial sector accounts. The sector accounts are first compiled separately for each sector of the economy. The final step of the compilation process consists of balancing across sectors, mainly based on assumptions of the quality of the various source statistics.

This figure illustrates the calculation system for the annual non-financial sector accounts.

The calculation system for preliminary annual figures is basically the same as for final annual figures. The main difference is that the available data sources for preliminary figures may be more incomplete and uncertain. Preliminary figures for non-financial enterprises are, for example, based on information for other sectors and additional external sources.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


§ 2-6 of the Statistics Act states that data under no circumstances shall be published in such a way that they may be traced back to the supplier.

§2-4 of the Statistics Act contains provisions regarding professional secrecy for the staff as well as other provisions regarding confidentiality and integrity.

Comparability over time and space

Comparable annual non-financial sector accounts are available for all years back to 1978.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The system of national accounts is compiled using several different statistical sources. The statistical sources consist of collected data from firms and enterprises, households or different types of registers. The uncertainty in the national accounts figures is therefore related to the uncertainty in source data and the compilation methods. Uncertainty connected to the different statistical sources is usually described as part of the documentation of sources.

Since the system of national accounts is an integrated system containing many routines for balancing and consistency checks of data, one could assume that the national accounts may reduce some of the uncertainty in the source data. On the other hand, the national accounts require compilation of figures in areas where source statistics are very limited or even lacking. In these cases figures are often compiled using a residual method. The uncertainty can be substantial in these areas.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed an evaluation of central parts of Norwegian macroeconomic statistics in autumn 2002, including the Norwegian national accounts. In the report IMF (2003), the Norwegian macroeconomic statistics, including the national accounts, got positive reviews: "In summary, Norway's macroeconomic statistics are of generally high quality." About the national accounts, the IMF also expressed that: "The source data for both the annual and the quarterly national accounts are generally sound and timely, and sufficiently portray reality."

The EU Commission and Eurostat have effected quality evaluations (revisions) of the national accounts in all EEA countries, up to the calculations of the value of GNI. The conclusions have been that the Norwegian national accounts are of a high quality.

Several of the statistical sources used in the compilation of the national accounts remain preliminary for longer periods, as they require extensive analysis and numerous revisions before the final figures are known. The preliminary national accounts figures are therefore more uncertain than the final figures.


Preliminary quarterly and annual figures are revised until final annual figures are published (in August/September year t+2). See Administrative information, Frequency and timeliness. In addition, periodical main revisions give revised figures. See Background and purpose.