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Statistical Press Release - National accounts benchmark revision in 2019

Banco de Portugal and Statistics Portugal (Instituto Nacional de Estatística – INE) are preparing the national accounts benchmark revision, which will make it possible to enhance the consistency between the non-financial component of the national accounts, incumbent on Statistics Portugal, and its financial component, entrusted to Banco de Portugal, as well as the consistency with the balance of payments and international investment position, also incumbent on the Bank.

Why?

By and large, statistics are subject to revisions on a regular basis. In the case of statistics produced by Banco de Portugal, revisions are made (1) according to that established in Banco de Portugal’s statistics revision policy and within a limited time horizon (the latest five years); or (2) they result from the national accounts benchmark revision, pursuant to the provisions of the European System of National Accounts, published in the years ending ‘4’ and ‘9’ and covering the entire time horizon of the series.

Which statistics will be revised?

The national accounts benchmark revision will impact on the following statistical domains, which are published by Banco de Portugal: 

•Balance of payments

•Balance sheet of other financial intermediaries (except ICPFs), financial auxiliaries and captive financial institutions and money lenders

•National financial accounts

•External debt

•Public debt

•Securities issues

•Statistics on non-financial corporations in the Central Balance Sheet Database

•Statistics on non-financial sector indebtedness

•General government financing

•International investment position

•International reserves

Which revisions will be introduced?

This revision procedure allows statistics producers to update existing sources of information with the latest data, to incorporate new sources of information and to improve the compilation process. In the case of statistics published by Banco de Portugal, the main changes were:

•Updating the benchmark population of the various institutional sectors.

•In the goods and services account, obtaining a new estimate for ‘Travel’ due to, inter alia, the incorporation of a new overnight stay statistical series by Statistics Portugal, which now includes homestay accommodation, and due to improvements in the collection of information on means of payment.

•In the income account, inclusion of new information on social benefits received from abroad by residents and implementation of a new methodology to calculate investment income taxes.

•In the financial account, the international investment position and national financial accounts, special focus on the adoption of a new source of information on the net acquisition of real estate property among residents and non-residents, review of the valuation of non-listed shares and other equity and review of the method to calculate the volume of euros held by non-residents.

When will Banco de Portugal publish the revised series?

The information on general government statistics in accordance with the new benchmark will be published on 23 September 2019. Other statistics compiled according to the new benchmark will be released on 10 October 2019.

Will there be any breaks in the series?

Overall, there won’t be any breaks in the series. Where possible, the changes introduced by the new national accounts benchmark will also impact on previous periods. By making way for the revision of data for the entire time horizon, it is possible to ensure consistency over time in statistical series.

Will this revision take place only in Portugal?

In 2014 all European Union countries adapted the methodology for compiling national accounts to the new version of the European System of National Accounts, known as ESA 2010, which replaced the previous version, ESA 95. In the case of external statistics, there was a simultaneous transition from the 5th to the 6th Balance of Payments Manual of the International Monetary Fund (BPM5 to BPM6).

At European level, a harmonised European revision policy for macroeconomic statistics was drawn up, which recommends that benchmark revisions for national accounts, the balance of payments and the international investment position be carried out every five years. As such, the 2019 benchmark revision should be undertaken by all European countries.