Quarterly Spanish National Accounts: main aggregates
- 1.1Contact organisation
National Statistics Institute of Spain
- 1.5Contact mail address
Avenida de Manoteras 50-52 - 28050 Madrid
- 1.1Contact organisation
- 2Metadata update
- 2.1Metadata last certified
- 2.2Metadata last posted
- 2.3Metadata last update
- 2.1Metadata last certified
- 3Statistical presentation
- 3.1Data description
The Quarterly National Accounts of Spain: Main aggregates (QSNA) is a short-term shyntesis statistics whose main objective is to provide a coherent quantitative description of the behavior of the Spanish economy as a whole in the short term. It provides estimates of the main aggregates of the national economy: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and its components, from the perspective of supply, demand and income, employment and national income. Such estimates are offered at current prices and in terms of volume (in the case of estimates of national income only at current prices), both in unadjusted terms and adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects. In addition, indicators of productivity and labor costs are added, derived from the aforementioned results.
The QSNA is developed within the framework of the national accounts system, being integrated, both methodologically and quantitatively, with the set of operations that make up the National Accounts of Spain:
- From a conceptual point of view, it adopts the methodology established in Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May concerning the European System of National and Regional Accounts of the European Union (ESA 2010). In this sense, the concepts, valuation principles and structures are the same as those used in the Annual National Accounts of Spain, with some peculiarities due to the period of time covered by the results.
- From the quantitative point of view, the aggregation of the quarterly estimates, for the quarters corresponding to any year, coincides with the estimate of the Annual National Accounts of Spain for such year. Likewise, the QSNA is fully consistent with the other operations of the system, such as the Quarterly Non-Financial Accounts of the Institutional Sectors and the General Government Statistics developed by the Audit Office, and consistent with the statistics of Balance of Payments, compiled by the Bank of Spain.
- 3.2Classification system
- Clasificaciones utilizadas
The branches of activity are grouped and codified in reference to the National Classification of Economic Activities of 2009 (CNAE-2009). Specifically, the breakdown of Gross Value Added, compensation of employees and their components and estimates of employment is offered with the following disaggregation by branch of activity (sections of the CNAE-2009 to which correspond in parentheses):
- Agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing (A)
- Industry (B, C, D and E)
- Construction (F)
- Trade, transport and accomodation and restaurants (G, H and I).
- Information and communications (J).
- Financial and insurance activities (K).
- Real estate activities (L).
- Professional, scientific and technical activities and others (M and N).
- Public administration, education and health activities (O, P and Q).
- Arts, entertainment and other services (R and S).
The non-financial assets produced are grouped into:
- Material fixed assets:
Housing and other buildings and constructions.
Machinery, equipment goods and weapons systems.
Cultivated biological resources.
- Products of intellectual property.
- Clasificaciones utilizadas
- 3.3Sector coverage
National economy and branches of activity in which it is divided.
- 3.4Statistical concepts and definitions
- Actual individual consumption
It consists of the goods and services that are acquired by resident institutional units for the direct satisfaction of individual human needs.
- Changes in inventories and acquisitions less disposals of valuables
They are measured by the value of the entries into inventories less the value of withdrawals and the value of any recurrent losses of goods held in inventories.
- Compensation of employees
Compensation of employees is defined as the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by an employer to an employee in return for work done by the latter during the reference period. It is broken down into:
- wages and salaries (D.11)
- employers' social contributions (D.12)
- Consumption of fixed capital
It is the decline in value of fixed assets owned, as a result of normal wear and tear and obsolescence.
- Current transfers
Operations that intervene in the secondary distribution of income (current taxes on income, wealth, etc., social contributions, social benefits and other current transfers).
Are defined as persons who, by agreement, work for another resident institutional unit and receive a remuneration registered as compensation of the employees.
- Exports of goods and services
Consist of transactions in goods and services (sales, barter, gifts or donations) from residents to non-residents.
- External demand
It is the difference between exports and imports of goods and services. Exports of goods and services consist of transactions in goods and services (sales, barter, and gifts) form residents to non-residents. On the other hand, imports of goods and services consist of transactions in goods and services (purchases, barter, and gifts) from non-residents to residents.
- Final consumption expenditure
Consists of the expenditure incurred by resident institutional units on goods and services that are used for the direct satisfaction of individual or collective needs. The institutional sectors that incur expenditure on final consumption are Households, Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households and the General Government.
- Full-time equivalent employment
Equals the number of full-time equivalent jobs, is defined as total hours worked divided by the average annual number of hours worked in full-time within the economic territory.
- Gross added value
It is the balancing item of the production account and it is the net result of the output at basic prices less the intermediate consumption at acquisition prices. Its components are: compensation of employees, other taxes on production less subsidies, net mixed income, net operating surplus and fixed capital consumption.
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at market prices
It is the final result of productive activity result of the resident producers.
It can be defined in three ways:
a) Output approach:
The GDP is equal to the sum of the gross value added of the various institutional sectors or the various industries plus taxes and less subsidies on products.
b) Expenditure approach:
GDP is equal to the sum of the final uses of goods and services by resident institutional units (final consumption expenditure and gross capital formation), plus exports minus imports of goods and services.
c) Income approach:
GDP is equal to the sum of the compensation of employees, taxes on production and imports less subsidies, gross operating surplus and mixed income of the total economy.
- Gross Fixed Capital Formation
Consists of acquisitions less disposals of fixed assets, tangible fixed asset or intellectual property products, during a given period plus certain additions to the value of non-produced assets realized by the productive activity of producer or institutional units. Fixed assets are produced assets used in production for more than one year.
- Gross national disposable income
Is equal to gross national income (at market prices), less current transfers (current taxes on income, wealth, etc., social contributions, social benefits and other current transfers) to be paid to units non-residents, plus current transfers from the rest of the world to be charged by resident units.
- Gross national income
Represents the total primary income to be collected by resident institutional units (compensation of employees, taxes less subsidies for production and imports, gross operating surplus and gross mixed income and income from property receivable less to turn off). From another point of view, the gross national income (at market prices) is equal to the GDP at market prices, minus the primary income to be paid by resident institutional units to non-resident institutional units, plus the primary income of the rest of the world. to charge for resident institutional units.
- Imports of goods and services
Consist of transactions in goods and services (purchases, barter and gifts) from non-residents to residents.
Is defined as an explicit or implicit contract between a person (who can live in other economic territory) and a resident institutional unit to perform work in return for compensation for a defined period or until further notice. Job concept differs from employment since a person (employment) can carry out more than a job; one after another, during a given period (usually a week), or in parallel, as it happens when someone has a job during the day and another one at night. For measuring labour input to domestic economic activity, only the residence of the producer institutional unit is relevant, because resident producers alone contribute to gross domestic product.
- National demand
It is the sum of the final consumption expenditure of the Households, Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households and the General Government plus gross capital formation.
- Operating surplus and mixed income
It is the balance item of the generation of income account. It corresponds to the income received by the rest of production units, not integrated in mixed income due to participation in the productive process. In the case of household unincorporated companies, the balancing item of the operating account implicitly has an element that corresponds to the payment of the work carried out by the owner or his/her family members and that cannot be distinguished from the benefits as entrepreneur. In this case it is Mixed Income.
- Persons employed
Covers all persons (employees or self-employed persons) engaged in productive activity that falls within the production boundary of the national accounts.
- Primary incomes
Includes operations that intervene in primary distribution of income (compensation of employees, taxes and subsidies and property income).
- Productivity per Full-time equivalent employment
Chained volume index of GDP between the number of full-time equivalent jobs, that is, it would be a measure of the quantity produced per full-time equivalent job in the national economy .
- Productivity per hour actually worked
Chained volume index of GDP between number of hours actually worked, that is, it would be a measure of the quantity produced per hour worked in the national economy.
- Property income
Income generated when the owners of financial assets and natural resources make them available to other institutional units. This concept includes both investment income, that is, the income to be paid (collected) for the use (assignment) of financial assets such as rents and rents payable (receivable) for the use (assignment) of a natural resource. Included in this concept are interests, distributed income of the corporations, reinvested earnings of foreign direct investment, other investment income and rents.
- Self-employed persons
Are defined as persons who are the sole owners, or joint owners, of the unincorporated enterprises in which they work, excluding those unincorporated enterprises that are classified as quasi-corporations.
Are current unrequited payments which general government or the institutions of the European Union make to resident producers.
- Taxes on production and imports
Consist of compulsory, unrequited payments, in cash or in kind, which are levied by general government, or by the institutions of the European Union, in respect of the production and importation of goods and services, the employment of labour, the ownership or use of land, buildings or other assets used in production. Such taxes are payable irrespective of profits made. They are comprised of taxes on products and other taxes on production.
- Total hours worked
Represents the aggregate number of hours actually worked as an employee or self-employee person during the accounting period, when their output is within the production boundary.
- Unitary labor cost
Remuneration per full-time equivalent employment between productivity per full-time equivalent employment, that is, it is a measure of the labor cost in relation to the productivity of each full-time equivalent employment.
- Actual individual consumption
- 3.5Statistical unit
The units that are used are defined according to the type of economic analysis that is intended to be carried out. For the analysis of economic behavior, institutional units are used. An institutional unit is an economic entity characterised by decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function. The institutional units that have a similar type of economic behavior are combined into groups called institutional sectors. To describe process of production and carry out the input-output analysis, the units used are the local kind-of-activity units (local KAU). The ESA groups the local kind-of-activity units by branch of activity. An activity is characterised by an inputs of products, a production process and an output of products. An institutional unit includes one or several local KAU; a local KAU belongs to a single institutional unit.
- 3.6Statistical population
The population under study is the set of resident units in the national economy. An institutional unit is resident in a country when it has its centre of predominant economic interest in the economic territory of the country, irrespective of nationality, legal form or presence on the economic territory at the time they carry out a transaction . Having a centre of predominant economic interest indicates that a location exists within the economic territory of a country where a unit engages in economic activities and transactions on a significant scale, either indefinitely or over a finite but long period of time (a year or more). The ownership of land and buildings within the economic territory is deemed to be sufficient for the owner to have a centre of predominant economic interest there. By national economic territory it is understood: a. The area (geographic territory) under the effective administration and economic control of a single government. b. Any free zones, including bonded warehouses and factories under customs control. c. The national air-space, the territorial waters and the continental shelf lying in international waters over which the country enjoys exclusive rights. d. Territorial enclaves, which are geographic territories situated in the rest of the world and used, under international treaties or agreements between states, by the general government agencies of the country (such as embassies, consulates, military bases, etc.) e. Deposits (oil, gas, etc.) in international waters outside the continental shelf of the country, worked by units resident in the territory according to the previous points.
- 3.7Reference area
It is constituted by the national economic territory:
a. The area (geographic territory) under the effective administration and economic control of a single government. b. Any free zones, including bonded warehouses and factories under customs control. c. The national air-space, the territorial waters and the continental shelf lying in international waters over which the country enjoys exclusive rights. d. Territorial enclaves, which are geographic territories situated in the rest of the world and used, under international treaties or agreements between states, by the general government agencies of the country (such as embassies, consulates, military bases, etc.) e. Deposits (oil, gas, etc.) in international waters outside the continental shelf of the country, worked by units resident in the territory according to the previous points.
- 3.8Time coverage
In the current accounting series (Benchmarck Revision 2019) there is information available since the first quarter of 1995 (since 1999 in the case of national income aggregates). However, there are results available since the first quarter of 1970 in previous accounting series:
• Base 2010, there is information available from the first quarter of the year 1995 to the second quarter of 2019. • Base 2008, there is information available from the first quarter of the year 1995 to the second quarter of 2014. • Base 2000, there is information available from the first quarter of 1995 to the second quarter of 2011. • Base 1995, there is information from the first quarter of 1980 to the fourth quarter of 2004, except for the series of the quarterly non-financial accounts of the total economy and the rest of the world beginning in the first quarter of 1995. • Base 1986, there is information from the first quarter of 1970 to the fourth quarter of 1998.
- 3.9Base period
The evolution of the quarterly aggregates measured at current prices can be separated into two components, one that reflects the evolution of prices and the other the movements in volume. The main purpose of the volume estimates is to offer measures of economic activity in which the effect of the variation in prices is eliminated. When making estimates in volume, the main choice is the base year in which these estimates are going to be expressed: fixed base or mobile base. Until the base change that gave rise to base 2000 in May 2005, the National Accounts have used a fixed base year for calculating their estimates in volume. This base year was updated every so often, and all available time series must be expressed at current prices and prices of the new base year. However, changes in the structure of base year exchanges that occur over time as a result of changes in relative prices, technology, products exchanged, preferences, etc., imply the loss of significance and statistical relevance of the valuations on a fixed basis. A solution to the problem of loss of relevance is to review the basis with the same frequency with which the estimate is made. In this way, speaking in annual terms, estimates are obtained at prices of the previous year. These estimates constitute the so-called links. In this way, there would not be a single base year but it would change as the estimates progress over time. This way of acting provides relevant estimates at constant prices, however, the direct comparison can only be made between two consecutive years. The formation of a homogeneous series that represents the complete sequence of years requires the chaining of all the links (which are elaborated using the Laspeyres formula in the case of volume variations). The reference year (2015, in the current series) is the one that defines the scale of the linked index (becoming 100), while the temporary base is mobile, with as many bases as pairs of consecutive years, so the linked valuation lacks of fixed base (mobile base).In the analysis of GDP growth rates in terms of chained volume, contributions to growth play an important role, a role that has become more important with the loss of additivity that has accompanied the introduction of chained volume indices. In general, a variable valued by means of chain-volume measures does not coincide with the sum of its constituent elements, equally evaluated through chain-volume measures. The loss of additivity is a direct consequence of the mathematical properties of the valuation system, so the discrepancies do not reflect any deterioration in quality in the measurement process.Deriving contributions to growth from additive data, such as constant price estimates, is straightforward. Unsurprisingly, deriving the contributions to growth of quarterly chain-linked volume estimates is more complex and, unlike constant price estimates, there is no one formula that can be applied in all cases. Rather, the methods that can be used depend on how the chain-linked volume estimates have been derived: the index formula used (e.g. Laspeyres or Fisher); annual or quarterly base years; method of linking in the case of annual base years; the period over which the contributions to growth are calculated (e.g. quarter-on-quarter or quarter on same quarter of previous year); special features of a component (e.g. changes in inventories).
The QNA calculates the contributions to GDP growth following the Additive Volume Data (AVD) Method, described in section 6.97 and following of the Handbook on quarterly national accounts (2013).
- 3.1Data description
- 4Unit of measure
- 4.1Unit of measure
Million euros for aggregates valued at current prices and number (in thousands) for employment variables, such as number of full-time equivalent jobs, number of hours worked, number of employees, etc.
- 4.1Unit of measure
- 5Reference period
- 5.1Reference period
The natural or calendar quarter.
Data referred to the period: Trimestral A: 2021 TRI: III
- 5.1Reference period
- 6Institutional mandate
- 6.1Legal acts and other agreements
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2021-2024, approved by Royal Decree 1110/2020, of 15 December, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2021-2024. (Statistics of the State Administration).
The Regulation (EU) no. nº 549/2013 of the Council, 21 May 2013, regarding the European System of National and Regional Accounts, contains the reference framework of common accounting concepts, definitions, classifications and norms intended for the development of national accounts in the EU.
- 6.2Data sharing
The exchanges of information needed to elaborate statistics between the INE and the rest of the State statistical offices (Ministerial Departments, independent bodies and administrative bodies depending on the State General Administration), or between these offices and the Autonomic statistical offices, are regulated in the LFEP (Law of the Public Statistic Function). This law also regulates the mechanisms of statistical coordination, and concludes cooperation agreements between the different offices when necessary.
- 6.1Legal acts and other agreements
- 7.1Confidentiality - policy
The Statistical Law No. 12/1989 specifies that the INE cannot publish, or make otherwise available, individual data or statistics that would enable the identification of data for any individual person or entity. Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society
- 7.2Confidentiality - data treatment
INE provides information on the protection of confidentiality at all stages of the statistical process: INE questionnaires for the operations in the national statistical plan include a legal clause protecting data under statistical confidentiality. Notices prior to data collection announcing a statistical operation notify respondents that data are subject to statistical confidentiality at all stages. For data processing, INE employees have available the INE data protection handbook, which specifies the steps that should be taken at each stage of processing to ensure reporting units' individual data are protected. The microdata files provided to users are anonymised.
Besides, QSNA is a statistical action included in the National Statistical Plan, which is therefore subject to the Law on the Public Statistical Function, 9 May 1989. As a result, its data is protected by Statistical Secrecy in all the stages of its development.
- 7.1Confidentiality - policy
- 8Release policy
- 8.1Release calendar
The advance release calendar that shows the precise release dates for the coming year is disseminated in the last quarter of each year.
- 8.2Release calendar access
The calendar is disseminated on the INEs Internet website (Publications Calendar)
- 8.3User access
The data are released simultaneously according to the advance release calendar to all interested parties by issuing the press release. At the same time, the data are posted on the INE's Internet website (www.ine.es/en) almost immediately after the press release is issued. Also some predefined tailor-made requests are sent to registered users. Some users could receive partial information under embargo as it is publicly described in the European Statistics Code of Practice
- 8.1Release calendar
- 9Frequency of dissemination
- 9.1Frequency of dissemination
- 9.1Frequency of dissemination
- 10Accessibility and clarity
- 10.1News release
The results of the statistical operations are normally disseminated by using press releases that can be accessed via both the corresponding menu and the Press Releases Section in the web
An advance of results is disseminated around 30 days after the end of the reference quarter (t + 30), with the information available up to that moment. This advance is updated around t + 90 days, also incorporating the results on national income for the quarter.
- 10.3On-line database
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
Information about QSNA base 2010 can be obtained in the following link.
- 10.4Micro-data access
A lot of statistical operations disseminate public domain anonymized files, available free of charge for downloading in the INE website Microdata Section
Because of the nature of the national, no microdata is available.
- 10.6Documentation on methodology
This action is carried out in accordance with the accounting principles established in ESA-2010. A detailed methodology of the QNA can be found at: https://www.ine.es/daco/daco43/metodologia_cntr.pdf In addition, you can also consult the Handbook on quarterly national accounts (2013 edition):
Technical project of Benchmarck Revision 2019 of the Spanish National Accounts::AC3 = 100%, where AC3 is the metadata completeness rate.
- 10.7Quality documentation
The quality criteria that must be applied to the data of the QSNA are those established in Article 12, paragraph 1, of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 11, 2009 relative to European statistics. In the methodological manual of the QSNA published in the following link:
A chapter dedicated to the analysis of revisions is included.
This methodological report also contains, in fields 10.6 to 17, the elements that are considered the "User-oriented quality report" for this operation.
- 10.1News release
- 11Quality management
- 11.1Quality assurance
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
The main objective of the QSNA is to offer a comprehensive and complete description of the behavior of a short-term economy. In this sense, there are numerous macroeconomic relations among all the aggregates that make up the QSNA, which are studied and contrasted each quarter by means of analysis and numerous controls. On the other hand, as part of the system of national accounts of Spain, the QSNA complies with the principles of coherence and consistency with the other parts of the same, which gives it an additional level of solidity. This consistency is reached in a double sense: methodological and numerical: - Methodological coherence: the principles, definitions, classifications and structure of the quarterly accounts must be the same as those adopted by the rest of the system, in particular by the annual and regional accounts. - Numerical coherence with aggregates, both quarterly and annual from other parts of the system. In the last phase of development of the QSNA, a global assessment of all the information is carried out, carrying out numerous coherence and feasibility checks, among which the following stand out: - Consistency between raw data and adjusted seasonal and calendar effects. - Comparison of the resulting quarterly aggregates with the current base information available. - Study of deflators and seasonal factors. - Analysis of the coherence and interpretation of certain ratios (productivities, average remunerations, unit labor costs (ULC), etc.) - Study of the revisions. - Etc. Finally, Eurostat has a complete validation system for all the data that are sent quarterly with regulatory character.
- 11.2Quality assessment
Eurostat submits to exhaustive analysis of the quality of the data transmitted by Spain on its national accounts within the framework of the provisions of the National Accounts Data Transmission Program to Eurostat set by Regulation (EU) 549/2013 on the European System of National and Regional Accounts.
Some of the important points of this statistic are:
Firstly, the dissemination of an advance estimate of quarterly GDP (Gross Domestic Product) with great immediacy (around 30 days later) since the fourth quarter of 2011. In addition, as from the publication of July of 2018, this advance estimate offers not only an advance estimate of the growth of GDP generated in the economy during the reference quarter in terms of volume and adjusted for seasonality and calendar effects, also an estimation of that aggregate at current prices and in terms of volume, and in adjusted and unadjusted terms of seasonality and calendar effets, and of each of its components. These results are offered from its three approaches: supply, demand and income (only at current prices in the case of the income approach), as well as a measure of the evolution of employment in the economy in terms of employed persons, jobs, equivalent full-time jobs and hours worked.
Secondly, the update of this advance estimate is carried out, since the second quarter of 2018, around 90 days after the end of the reference quarter, with all the information available of the reference quarter, particularly considering quarterly results of the Balance of Payments, published by the Bank of Spain days before, and integrating the results of Quarterly Non-Financial Accounts of Public Administrations, disseminated around the same date by Audit Office. This guarantees the consistency of the set of macroeconomic statistics in the measurement of the short term situation of national economy at each moment of time.
- 11.1Quality assurance
- 12.1User needs
The QSNA can be used to analyze and evaluate the recent evolution of the Spanish economy as a whole and of each activity sector, comparable to other economies. The results of the same have a fundamental importance for the Government of Spain and for the EU and its Member States when formulating and supervising its economic and social policy. With this, among the main users of the results of this operation we can highlight the Government of Spain, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, OECD, the IMF and all types of economic studies and analysts services.
- 12.2User satisfaction
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
100% of the information required by Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on the European System of National and Regional Accounts of the EU to the Member States is provided.
R1= 100%, R1 is the rate of completeness of the data
- 12.1User needs
- 13Accuracy and reliability
- 13.1Overall accuracy
The QSNA is a shyntesis statistics, so its acuracy depends, to a large extent, on the sources of information used in its preparation. Nonetheless, the identities established by the system and the general equilibrium process of the national accounts make it possible to verify and improve the coherence and completeness of the estimates, avoiding possible gaps and inconsistencies in the basic data sources.
The direct measure of the accuracy in this case is not considered possible. The main instrument to analyze the accuracy is the analysis of the revisions. (see point 17.2) The revisions show the degree of proximity between successive estimates of the same value. As all estimators are affected by errors, this analysis does not definitively demonstrate the accuracy of the initial estimators, but the size of the revision is an indicator of accuracy, since it is reasonable to assume that the estimators converge to the true value when based on in better and more reliable data
- 13.2Sampling error
The QSNA is a shyntesis statistics, so the concept of sampling errors is not applicable. However, it is affected indirectly by such errors, due to the fact that surveys are among its sources of information. However, the identities established by the system allow the consistency and completeness of the estimates to be checked and improved.
- 13.3Non-sampling error
The QSNA is a synthetic statistics, so it is affected indirectly by all the errors that exist in its information sources. However, the identities established by the national accounts system allow to verify and improve the coherence and completeness of the estimates, reducing the impact of this type of errors.
- 13.1Overall accuracy
- 14Timeliness and punctuality
The advance of QSNA results is published around 30 days after the end of the reference quarter t (t + 30 days), with the information available up to that moment. These results are updated in t + 90 days, once all the information available for the quarter has been incorporated, especially the quarterly results of the Balance of Payments, disseminated by the Bank of Spain.
TP1 = 30 days, with TP1 being the opportunity for the first results.
TP2 = 3 years, being TP2 the opportunity of the final results.
The results of the QSNA are published on time, in agreement with the the INE short-term statistical publication calendar.
- 15Coherence and Comparability
- 15.1Comparability - geographical
One of the objectives of the ESA 2010 is the harmonization of the methodology and the precision and rigor of the concepts, the definitions, the classifications and the accounting rules that must be applied in order to obtain a comparable description of the economies of the countries of the European Union. Therefore, the results of the CNTR are comparable with those of the Member States of the EU. They are also compatible on an international scale since the concepts of the ESA are fully coherent with those contained in the existing global guidelines on national accounting, which are included in the System of National Accounts (drawn up under the joint responsibility of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, Eurostat, the OECD and the World Bank).
- 15.2Comparability - over time
In the current accounting series, homogeneous series are available from the first quarter of the year 1995 (of 1999, in the case of the results related to national income). Thus, as of September 2020, the length of the comparable data series is CC2 = 102 quarters, with CC2 being the length of the comparable time series.
- 15.3Coherence - cross domain
The QSNA integrates the results of the quarterly results of the Goverment Finance Statistics, prepared by the Audit Office, being, therefore, fully consistent with them. In addition, the ESA 2010 is broadly consistent with the principles established in the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (6th edition), so that the results of the QSNA are consistent with that of the Balance of Payments, which disseminates the Bank of Spain. In addition, because it is a synthetic statistic, the results of this operation are generally consistent with those of the statistical and administrative sources used in its preparation.
- 15.4Coherence - internal
The accounting methodology established in the ESA 2010 guarantees the compliance in the National Accounts of Spain of all the identities that are established there in, this is the coherence of all the measures established to describe the different parts of the economic process. This allows the joint and consistent analysis of the different aspects and phases of the same and the behavior of the different economic agents, including their relations with the rest of the world. On the other hand, at a quantitative level, the quarterly estimates of all the aggregates are temporarily consistent with the annual figures.
- 15.1Comparability - geographical
- 16Cost and burden
- 16.1Cost and burden
In the 2021 Annual Program, the estimate of the necessary budget credit to finance this statistical operation is 316.45 thousand euros.
The workload for informants is non-existent since QSNA is compiled using the information provided by other statistics.
- 16.1Cost and burden
- 17Data revision
- 17.1Data revision - policy
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
The advance of QSNA results for quarter t is published around t + 30 days. These results are updated around t + 90 days. At the same time, updated results are disseminated from the previous quarters of the current year. In addition, in the case of the second quarter of each year, revised results are disseminated from the first quarter of year T-3, consistent with the policy of review of results of the Annual National Accounts of Spain.
- 17.2Data revision - practice
The advance of QSNA results for quarter t is published around t + 30 days. These results are updated around t + 90 days. At the same time, updated results are disseminated from the previous quarters of the current year. In addition, in the case of the second quarter of each year, revised results are disseminated from the first quarter of year T-3, consistent with the policy of review of results of the Annual National Accounts of Spain. The values of the indicators MAR and RMAR for the annual quarterly GDP rate in terms of volume (corrected for seasonal and calendar effects) for the period between the first quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2018 are:
MAR is the absolute average size of revisions, where the revision is defined as the difference between the two estimates and the average extends to a number of revisions of the same data.
RMAR is the percentage of the average size of the revisions relative to the values of the revised estimates.
- 17.1Data revision - policy
- 18Statistical processing
- 18.1Source data
The QSNA integrate and combines a great number of short-term economic information sources. There are two types of quantitative short-term statistical information:
- Direct information:source integrated in the result of the CNTR (Balance of Payment, Government Finance Statistics).
- Indirect information: gives information about the change between two periods of an aggregate or part of it.
Among the indirect indicators used, the following shall be pointed out:
- Production statistics: Industrial Production Index, Industry Turnover Index, Companies Turnover Index, Services Sector Activity Indicators, corporation sales, Retail Trade Index, Passenger Transport Statistics, Hotel Tourism Short-term Trends, Tourist Accomodation Occupancy Survey, construction activity indicators, agricultural and livestock productions,...
- Employment and costs statistics, such as the Labour Force Survey, Labour Costs Survey or Social Security Affiliation Statistics.
- Price statistics, such as the Services Sector Price Index, Consumer Price Index, Industrial Price Index, Housing Price Index, Unit Value Index, agricultural price indexes...
- Administrative registers and other quantitative sources.
- Other non-quantitative indicators such as Confidence Indicators or the Short-Term Industrial Survey.
- 18.2Frequency of data collection
Monthly or quarterly.
- 18.3Data collection
The data used are statistics prepared by the INE or other organizations. The collection of data varies according to the type of source and the way of disseminating the information (database, electronic publication, etc.). In general, the necessary information is published on the web pages, directly accessing the publication or the corresponding database. Regarding unpublished information, it is sent directly to the Department of National Accounts from the responsible agencies.
- 18.4Data validation
Once the base indicators are selected, they are subjected to a series of treatments: identification of outliers, error filtering, prediction of missing data, adjustment to National Accounts terms...
- 18.5Data compilation
The compilation process of QSNA may be structured in different stages:
1. Updating of indicators
The quality of the quarterly estimates obtained by indirect method depends greatly on the indicators. When selecting the basic indicators, the main criteria taken into account is: conceptual coherence with the annual aggregate to be indicated, correlation with that aggregate, quarterly frequency or higher, minimum time-lag, enough length, future availability, minimum prediction and statistical quality errors.
2. Univariate treatment of basic series
Once base indicators are updated, they are subjected to a series of treatments. The main treatments consist in: identification of outliers, error filtering, prediction of missing data and adjustment to National Accounts terms.
3. Building synthetic indicators
Based on the series of basic indicators, the information is synthesized, this way obtaining a synthetic indicator (of value or volume and prices) for each aggregate and at the necessary breakdown level. The objective is to obtain more unhurried models in terms of parameter estimate. In order to design synthetic indicators, different techniques are used such as Factorial Analysis, Weighted Average, Main Components or Canonical Correlation.
4. Application of temporary breakdown procedures
Once there is a synthetic indicator for each aggregate(for variation in current terms and for volume evolution) temporary breakdown procedures are applied to the series of annual aggregates (mainly the general Chow and Lin method, 1971) so as to obtain the series of quarterly aggregates. This way, a first version is obtained of the quarterly estimates in current terms, at average prices of the previous year and chained-linked volume indices that are temporarily consistent with the annual estimates.
5. Balance and conciliation process of gross estimates
In order to solve supply-demand inconsistency problems and keep the temporary consistency and therefore obtain the almost-definite gross quarterly aggregates, the balance and conciliation process shall be carried out. This process has two stages:
- In the first stage, balance procedures are applied.
- In the second stage, the data obtained in the previous stage are subjected to a control and validation process, which basically consists in the following treatments:
- Comparison of the resulting quarterly aggregates with the available short-term base information.
- Coherence and interpretation analysis of certain indices (deflators, productivity, unitary costs, etc.).
- Study of the current data revision regarding the data published the previous quarter.
- Analysis of the resulting variation rates (quarter on previous quarter and quarter on same quarter of the previous year).
The series of quarterly aggregates in gross terms of supply, demand, income and employment, that are obtained at the end of this stage will be definitive after the final viability study. This study also includes the adjusted seasonal and calendar quarterly series.
6. Application of signal extraction procedures
Each aggregate series obtained in the previous section is applied signal extraction procedures in order to obtain the series of adjusted seasonal and calendar quarterly aggregates.
The procedure of seasonal adjustment applied in QSNA, uses the signal extraction methodology based on ARIMA models (MBSE) implemented in programs TRAMO and SEATS (Gomez and Maravall, 1997) which is one of the procedures recommended by Eurostat. The applied procedures follow the recommendations included in the standard of seasonal adjustment of INE, in the Handbook on Quarterly National Accounts (Eurostat, 2013) and in the final report of the work group about seasonal adjustment in Quarterly National Accounts (Eurostat and European Central Bank, 2008).
Adjustment is carried out on quarterly series in gross terms and not on the indicators. The model is chosen once a year.
7. Balance and conciliation process of adjusted data.
The objective of this stage is to obtain temporary consistency and accounting balance of the adjusted quarterly series. To do so, proceed similarly to section 5. Once quantitative and transverse coherence of the adjusted data is obtained, it is subjected to a process of residual seasonal control.
8. Overall valuation of gross/adjusted data.
Finally there is an overall valuation of all the information (adjusted and non-adjusted quarterly aggregate series of supply, demand, income and employment in current and volume terms), and numerous coherence and viability controls are carried out.
The elaboration of adjusted seasonality and calendar results covers both the signal extraction process, which includes the treatment of seasonal adjustment and calendar effects, as well as the procedures that guarantee the necessary annual consistency between the gross data and the seasonally adjusted data and among the aggregates of the account system. The procedures applied are in accordance with the recommendations published in the quarterly accounts manuals (Eurostat, 1999/2013 and International Monetary Fund 2001/2016) and seasonal adjustment (ESS guidelines on seasonal adjustment, 2015 and with the INE Standard for the correction of seasonal effects and calendar effects in the short term series, 2013). In this way, the seasonal adjustment procedures are developed according to a parametric approach, based on regression models with ARIMA errors, identifying and estimating a priori a model that adequately fits the observed series and deriving appropriate models from it for each of the components of the series (cycle-trend, seasonal and irregular). The latest versions of the JDeemtra+ (2.2.2) and TRAMO-SEATS software (Gómez and Maravall, 1994) are used. It must be borne in mind that the choice of the ARIMA model is made once a year at the time when the annual series are also reviewed. Such models remain fixed for the remaining quarters of the year. However, these are monitored in all quarters. In addition, the parameters of the ARIMA model are re-estimated each time a new observation is available. The annual consistency between the gross data and the seasonally adjusted data is also maintained, that is, the annual total of the seasonally adjusted series coincides with the annual total of the original series. This preference for consistency over optimality in the sense of seasonal adjustment must be understood in the context of the coherence that must exist in any system of national accounts, essential for the analysis of the evolution of the economy in both the short and the long term. To do this, we use model-based methods for the disaggregation of time series and adjustment of the quarterly data set to the annual data.
The method for obtaining an adjusted series of GDP in terms of volume is direct, that is, the aggregate signal is not obtained as a sum of the corresponding signals of its components, but the signal extraction procedures are applied directly to the aggregate in gross terms. Afterwards, and once each of the components has been adjusted to the seasonally adjusted calendar effects, balance and conciliation procedures are applied in order to obtain consistent adjusted series that are transversal and temporal. Finally, an exhaustive control is carried out to verify that there is no residual seasonality in the seasonally adjusted series, a control that is especially important for the balance and conciliation procedures applied to the seasonally adjusted series discussed. In addition, following the recommendations of Eurostat, no adjustment is made to the lack of additivity caused by the adoption of the chained-linked index methodology for the measurement of volume variations in supply and demand aggregates.Metadata for the seasonal adjustment in QNA.xls
- 18.1Source data
For further information see the "Handbook on quarterly national accounts- 2013 edition", in the link: