Macroeconomic accounting systems

The national accounts have the task of providing, in quantitative terms, an overall picture of economic activity in Germany that is as clear and as comprehensive as possible. They include all economic agents (individuals, institutions) as well as their economic activities and related processes that are important for describing the business cycle.

As part of the national accounts, calculations of domestic product provide data needed for ongoing economic observations and analysis, most notably quarterly and annual data on the creation, use and distribution of gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices or adjusted for inflation (or price change). The national accounts also include figures for the factors of production (employment rate, wealth accounts).

By contrast, the financial accounts (FA), which are an integral part of the national accounts, focus on the financial activities that arise as part of the production of goods and services. Besides the transactions, the economy’s financial assets and liabilities are also calculated.

Since September 2014 the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) is the methodological basis of the national accounts and the FA. This framework contains extensive provisions and definitions on the statistical recording of the economic process and applies to all countries of the European Union (EU). In this way, the comparability of the results between the countries is ensured.