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Improvements to Annual National Accounts

Statistics New Zealand is introducing a number of improvements into the annual national accounts as part of an ongoing programme of reviewing and updating methodology and data sources. This note briefly outlines the revisions in the current price accounts that will be introduced in the National Accounts: Year ended March 2010 release, to be published on 19 November 2010. These changes will also be reflected in the Gross Domestic Product: September 2010 quarter release, to be published on 23 December 2010.

The release will include improved measures of the activities of commercial property operators and developers in the property services industry. These statistics incorporate new data from the Annual Enterprise Survey, which was extended in 2004 to survey the commercial property industry. The improved methodology, which leads to revisions from 1987, results in increases in the level of value added for the property services industry from 2004 onwards. Before 2004, value added for this industry is unchanged, though the levels of gross output and intermediate consumption have been revised upwards from 1987. The revisions to value added were balanced by changes to other industries, as part of an overall review process. This ensures that the production and expenditure side estimates of GDP remain equal. The main industries affected are:

  • food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing
  • petroleum, chemical, plastic, and rubber product manufacturing
  • construction
  • wholesale trade
  • retail trade
  • communication services
  • finance and insurance.

Also included in the upcoming release are the reclassification of certain transactions that relate to government units and non-profit institutions serving households (from 1997), and changes to the market/non-market classification of a number of units (from 1996). These changes are primarily the result of development work for the Institutional Sector Accounts: 1999–2008 (to be published 16 December 2010) and also incorporate findings from the Non-Profit Institutions Satellite Account: 2004.

The combined impact of the changes is a small increase in the level of GDP in current prices each year, from 1997 onwards. This is primarily a result of the reclassification of transactions and units rather than the improved estimates of property services.

Please note that the National Accounts: Year ended March 2010 release will also include revisions arising from the usual annual revision cycle, including incorporating those from the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: June 2010 quarter (from 1999) release.

For more information, please contact:
Daniel Lensen
(04) 931 4600

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