Concepts, definitions and classifications
The UNECE secretariat presents time series ready for immediate
analysis. When appropriate, source segments with methodological
differences have been linked, by concatenation or rescaling, to build
long consistent time series.
The national accounts estimates are compiled according
to the 1993 SNA (System
of National Accounts 1993, Commission of the European
Communities-Eurostat, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations and World Bank,
1993) for all countries.
Important methodological improvements to national accounts of UNECE
member countries are being implemented in the course of 2005-2006, in
particular for European countries. These concern the allocation of
FISIM (Financial Intermediation Services Indirectly Measured) to
user sector/industries and the introduction of chain volume linking.
The implementation date will however differ between countries; this will
have an impact on the comparability of data across countries, on EU
aggregates and UNECE regional aggregates, and in the availability of
time series during the transition period.
Classification used: data by activity breakdown are
presented in ISIC/NACE, the two classifications being identical down to
the two-digit level (divisions). Data on GDP by activity are in the
standard A6 structure (groups of sections). Data on GDP by expenditure
are in the standard 1993 SNA classification of transactions in goods and
Constant price estimates are based on data compiled by
the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) which reflect various specific
national practices (different base years, fixed base, chain, etc.)
explained in the country notes. To facilitate international comparisons,
the data reported by the NSOs have been scaled to the current price
value of 2005. As mentioned above, since early 2006, most UNECE
countries moved to chain-linking to measure their national
accounts aggregates in volume terms. Users who work with chained levels
must be aware that chain-linking results in the loss of additivity
of volume series for all years except for the reference year and the
year following it. Non-additivity arises for purely mathematical
reasons; the discrepancies should not be interpreted as indications of
loss of quality
Common currency (US$) estimates are computed by the
secretariat using purchasing power parities.
Purchasing power parity (PPP, NCU per US$), in broad
terms, is the relative cost of the same representative basket of goods
when valued at the domestic prices of two different countries. In other
words, PPPs are the rates of currency conversion that equalise the
purchasing power of different currencies. A PPP is similar to a consumer
price index in that it compares an overall price level of two different
economies. It is different, however, in that the two economies compared
are separated in space rather than in time. PPPs are, therefore,
currency converters in addition to being spatial price comparisons. When
countries use a common currency, such as the fifteen countries of the
euro area, and there is no need to convert to a common currency, PPPs
are simply spatial price relatives.
PPPs, and not exchange rates, should be used in international
comparisons of real income.
PPP series for the 27 EU countries,
the EU candidate countries (Croatia, The former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia and Turkey), three EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and
Switzerland), two other OECD members (United States and Canada),
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, are based on the
results of Eurostat/OECD comparisons programmes. Where relevant, these
PPPs were converted by the secretariat into national currency units per
US dollar (PPP for USA = 1). The secretariat has made projections using
relative deflators of GDP for those countries for which PPPs were not
reported by Eurostat/OECD before 2005.
PPP series for Israel are those
reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel.
PPP data for 2005 for the CIS
countries are those published by the World Bank with the ICP 2005 global
round results. PPP series for non-benchmark years are estimated by the
secretariat using relative deflators of GDP.
Comparative price level of GDP (PPP/XR, per cent) is
defined as the ratio of the purchasing power parity of GDP and the
exchange rate for a given country, both measured in national currency
per US$. It provides a measure of the over/undervaluation of the
currency of a country: PPP equal to the exchange rate (comparative price
level = 100) indicates that the national currency buys as much
domestically as in the reference country (USA) when converted by the
exchange rate. PPP above the exchange rate (comparative price level >
100) indicates the currency will buy more in the foreign market (when
converted by the exchange rate) that it will domestically. The opposite
is true if the comparative price level is lower than 100.
Regional aggregates are computed by the secretariat.
Population and employment aggregates are sums of national series.
Balance of current account aggregates are sums of national series
converted into US$ using current exchange rates. For national accounts:
all current price aggregates are sums of national series converted into
US$ at current PPPs of GDP; all constant price aggregates are calculated
by summing up national series scaled to the price level of the common
reference year 2005 and then converted into US$ using 2005 PPPs of GDP.
Regional aggregates of CPI are calculated as weighted averages of
national series using fixed 2005 weights based on final consumption
expenditure in US$ at 2005 PPPs. Unemployment rates are the ratios of
unemployed persons to labour force in the region.
Population, as defined in the
1993 SNA, Population and Labour Input, consists of all persons,
national or foreign, who are permanently settled in the economic
territory of the country, even if they are temporarily absent from it. A
person staying or intending to stay at least one year is considered to
be settled on the territory. By convention, the total population
includes neither foreign students nor members of foreign armed forces
stationed in a country. Annual figures are annual averages.
Employment, as defined in the
1993 SNA, Population and Labour Input, includes all persons,
employees and self-employed, engaged in some productive activity, for a
resident employer (including self employers), that falls within the
production boundary of the System. The unit is headcount, not jobs.
Annual figures are annual averages, not end-of-year or middle-of-year
values. Exceptions are mentioned in the country notes.
Unemployment is the share of unemployed in the labour
force (the total of employed and unemployed persons). Preference is
given to LFS-based, as compared to registered unemployment rates. For
those countries for which LFS-based rates are not available, registered
unemployment rates are shown. The unemployment rates shown for the
following countries are the comparable harmonized unemployment rates
produced by the Statistical Office of the European Communities
(Eurostat) and OECD: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,
Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.