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Preview of 2016 national accounts improvements
Purpose and summary

Preview of 2016 national accounts improvements presents the improvements we will make to New Zealand’s national accounts over the remainder of 2016. It provides information and analysis to help users interpret the revised data and indicates the size of the revisions.

Our aim is to help technical users of national accounts and gross domestic product (GDP) data anticipate the impact of revisions to economic models. Note that the data and graphs in this paper are broad indications of the revisions that can be expected. These revisions are subject to changes in the final publications.

Background to the improvements

The improvements to the nationals accounts in 2016 are due to changes that have occurred and new data and information that have become available since the 2015 annual release.

The main changes and new information available are:

  • from 2017, the timeliness of the Balanced National Accounts will be improved by one year – however, as an interim solution with this year’s release we will be publishing provisional nominal GDP industry contributions for the year ended March 2015
  • updated data measuring unconsented construction arising from the Canterbury earthquakes
  • updates to nominal data from 2013, due to the regular annual update cycle
  • annual real and quarterly GDP methodological updates
  • updated benchmarks for 2013 and 2014 will be reflected in volume benchmarks with the release of Gross Domestic Product: September 2016 quarter.

National accounts statistics are consistent with an international framework discussed in more detail in Preview of 2014 national accounts improvements. This framework underpins the statistical releases discussed in this paper and is linked to the accounting frameworks of other macroeconomic statistics, such as trade and consumer prices.

The updates also reflect a reconciliation of goods and service flows across the economy within the national accounts framework for all years up to 2014.

When the improvements will occur

We will include the improvements in the following information releases.

  • National Accounts (Industry Production and Investment): Year ended March 2014 – publication date 18 November 2016
  • National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2016 – publication date 18 November 2016
  • Gross Domestic Product: September 2016 quarter – publication date 15 December 2016.

Structure of the paper

Chapter 2 provides an analysis of the main improvements to national accounts and nominal GDP statistics.

  • Updated data for unconsented construction arising from the Canterbury earthquakes.
  • Introduction of provisional annual estimates of nominal GDP industry contributions for the year ended March 2015.

Chapter 3 outlines the improvements to measures of economic growth in real terms. The improvements fall into two broad categories:

  • improved measures of annual growth in real terms
  • improved measures of quarterly growth.

The most significant revisions to real GDP growth are due to an improved methodology for measuring construction services.

The appendix describes lower-level technical aspects of the improvements, which fall into three broad categories:

  • annual nominal data and methodology updates
  • annual real GDP methodology updates
  • quarterly GDP methodology updates.
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