Regional Accounts Methods: Gross value-added and gross fixed capital formation by activity, Eurostat, 1995
REGIONAL ACCOUNTS METHODS
Gross value-added and
gross fixed capital formation
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Um Benutzern die Datensuche zu erleich- Y. Franchet
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Y. Franchet Y. Franchet
Generaldirektor Directeur général
REGIONAL ACCOUNTS METHODS
Gross value-added and
gross fixed capital formation
General statistics 1
Regional economic statistics have an important role to also help users understand the figures they are using
play in the formulation, implementation and evaluation and thus use them more appropriately.
of regional policies. In particular they are used for as-
sessing regional disparities, and, in the context of the The principles and methods are applicable to the diffe-
EEC Regulations on the structural funds, forthe eligibility rent activities covered in the sections of the NACE
of regions to the different objectives. With increased Rev.1., and by extension, to other regional aggregates
expenditure on the structural funds, there comes a as employment and compensation of employees. For
greater need for consistent and reliable regional statis- those activities, where statisticians have encountered
tics than ever before and in particular for regional econ- particular difficulties, such as:
omic accounts. Indicators, so widely used as Gross
domestic product (GDP), Gross value added (GVA) and
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) per region, should C Mining and quarrying
be evaluated in an harmonized way, in order to provide E Electricity, gas and water supply
comparable figures forthe European regions.
This document expands on the principles settled in the
ESA regional chapter to compile regional accounts by I Transport Storage and Communication
industries . It starts a series dedicated to develop the J Financial intermediation
ESA recommendations with more details, giving more
practical guidance. It will continue with those on re-
gional household accounts and the regionalization of a more detailed coverage is offered.
central government transactions
The manual intends to give to regional statisticians a
clear guidance on the concepts and methods to compile
harmonized GDP, GVA and GFCF per region. It should
Luxembourg, February 1995
1 According to the proposal for a Council regulation (EC), COMÍ94) 593 final, 16/12/1994.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Policy background 9
2. Relevant statistics 9
3. Historical background 9
4. Principles and concepts of regional accounts 9
5. Methods 10
6. Quality 10
7. Scope of document 10
CHAPTER I: GENERAL PRINCIPLES 11
1. Regional territory 12
1.1 The regional territory 12
1.2 The extra-regio territory 12
1.3 The Nomenclature of Territorial Statistical Units (NUTS) 12
2. Residence and territory concepts 12
2.1 The residence principle 12
2.2 The territorial approach 12
2.3 Commuting 13
3. The selection of units and their regrouping 13
3.1 Statistical units 13
3.2 The treatment of multi-regional and heterogeneous units 13
3.3 The treatment of ancillary activities 14
a) Industry allocation 14
b) Regional allocation 14
4. Bottom-up and top-down methods 14
4.1 Definitions 14
a) Bottom-up methods 14
b) Top-down methods 14
c) Mixed methods 14
4.2 Comparison of bottom-up and top-down methods 14
4.3 Improving top-down and mixed methods 15
4.4 Adjustment of regional to national values 15
4.5 Accuracy of regional accounts 15
4.6 Comparability of regional aggregates 16
5. Principles and methods for GVA 16
5.1 Principles 16
5.2 Income and output approaches 16
5.3 Choice of indicators for top-down and pseudo-bottom-up based methods 16
5.4 Ancillary activities 17
5.5 The passage from regional GVA at basic prices to GDP per region (GDPR) at
market prices 17
5.5.1 Introduction 17
5.5.2 Principles forthe regional allocation of VAT and taxes and subsidies
on products and imports 17
5.5.3 The need for a convention 18
6. Principales for allocating GFCF 18
6.1 Allocation principle 18
6.2 Sales of second-hand or existing assets 18
6.3 Choice of methods 18
CHAPTER II: APPLYING THE PRINCIPLES TO PARTICULAR
1. Introduction 21
1.1 Industries covered 21
1.2 Other industries 21
2. Mining and quarrying (C) and electricity gas and water supply (E) 22
2.1 Introduction 22
2.2 Producer units 22
2.3 Allocation of GVA 22
2.4 Allocation of GFCF 22
2.5 Extra-regio allocation 22
3. Construction (F) 22
3.1 Introduction 22
3.2 Producer units 22
3.3 Allocation of GVA 23
3.4 Allocation of GFCF 23
3.5 ' Extra-regio allocation 23
4. Transport, storage and communication (I) 23
4.1 Transport (excluding rail and airtransport) 23
4.1.1 Introduction 23
4.1.2 Producer units 23
4.1.3 Allocation of GVA 24
4.1.4 Allocation of GFCF 24
4.1.5 Extra-regio allocation 24
4.2 Rail and air transport 24
4.2.1 Introduction 24
4.2.2 Allocation of GVA 24
4.2.3 Allocation of GFCF ' 24
4.2.4 Extra-regio allocation 24
4.3 Communication 25
4.3.1 Introduction 25
4.3.2 Producer units 25
4.3.3 Allocation of GVA 25
4.3.4 Allocation of GFCF 25
4.3.5 Extra-regio allocation 25
5. Financial intermediation (J) 25
5.1 Financial intermediation except insurance and pension funding 25
5.1.1 Introduction 25
5.1.2 The producer units 25
5.1.3 Allocation of GVA 25
5.1.4 Allocation of GFCF 25
5.1.5 Extra-regio allocation 25
5.2 Insurance and pension funding except compulsory social security 25
5.2.1 Introduction 25
5.2.2 The producer units 26
5.2.3 Allocation of GVA 26
5.2.4 Allocation of GFCF 26
5.2.5 Extra-regio allocation 26
5.3 Financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM) 26
APPENDIX A: Definitions of national economic territory 27
APPENDIX B: Official definitions of Statistical units 27
1. Policy background household income and government accounts provide
valuable information about the people living in the re-
Reliable, consistent and relevant regional statistics pro- gions and the effect of government on the regions.
vide a firm foundation for policies aimed at reducing These are being developed by member states in co-
economic and social disparities between the regions of operation with Eurostat.
Europe. Only by using relevant and consistent statistics
can we identify objectively those regions which are in
need of assistance and measure the disparities. Statis- 3. Historical background
tics have an important role to play at all stages of the Regional accounts have a long history in some member
policy process: formulation, implementation and evalu- states, particularly founder members of the European
ation. Thus the improvement and development of re- Union. Gross value added and gross fixed capital for-
gional statistics is one of the objectives of the European mation have been produced for over 20 years in some
Union Statistical Programme. member states. On the other hand some member states
With increased expenditure on the structural funds, there who joined the European Union recently have only a few
comes a greater need for consistent and reliable regional years experience of compiling regional accounts.
economic statistics than ever before and particularly for Progress and methodological problems are discussed at
regional economic accounts. Eurostat and national stat- the Working Party on Regional Accounts and Statistical
istical offices must work together to ensure that these Indicators at Regional Level. As regional economic
regional statistics are, and are seen to be, good enough statistics became more important for European Union
to base important decisions on. This means not only a policy, the working party began to discuss regional ac-
programme of improvement and development, but open- counts methods in more detail. This work contributed
ness about methods and quality. substantially to the new regional chapter of ESA and is
Also with the enlargement of the European Union, some the basis of this, more practical, document.
national statistical offices are compiling regional ac-
counts for the first time. The systems they set up and 4. Principles and concepts of regional
methods they employ will vary according to the available
data etc, but they can learn from the experience of other
member states. Moreover new systems must adopt Regional accounts are a regional specification of the
agreed principles and use methods generally accepted corresponding accounts of the nation. Thus regional
as appropriate. Unless they do so, the cohesion of accounts make use of the concepts used for national
European regional statistics is reduced. accounts. There are substantial conceptual and practi-
cal difficulties in compiling a full set of accounts at
2. Relevant statistics regional level. So the European System of Accounts
(ESA) specifies a limited system of regional accounts.
For the time being, two regional accounts statistics have This covers some aggregates by industry and simplified
been identified as particularly relevant to the structural accounts for households.
funds: gross value added (GVA) and gross fixed capital
Until now statisticians have worked according to their
formation (GFCF). GVA is used to estimate gross do-
own national conventions and also the Eurostat guide-
mestic product at regional level (GDPR); both are
lines in the ESA and ESA/reg. The new regional chapter
measures of economic activity. GFCF measures invest-
of the revised ESA provides clearer guidance on con-
ment by producer units resident in a region. These
cepts, principles and methods. It will be supplemented
measures of economic development are the subject of
by this document giving more practical guidance on GVA
this document. Other economic statistics such as
and GFCF. Household and government accounts will done to assess likely errors in the estimates. This would
be the subject of future Eurostat documents. be a difficult task. Generally we can say that statistics
for small, sparsely populated regions are less reliable
than those for bigger regions. However it is likely that
5. Methods small differences between regions are well within the
Methods vary because they are determined by the type margin of error of the figures, particularly forthe smaller
of data available and the organisation of the national regions.
statistical system. Different methods can produce com- Quality depends on three things: region size, data quality
parable results: for example income and output data both and methodology. This document concentrates on im-
produce valid measures of gross value added. Of proving and harmonising methods, but the other aspects
course there is always room to harmonise and improve must not be forgotten. Region size and data quality are
methods of exploiting the data at a detailed level, in often outside the control of the statistician responsible
particular where data are incomplete. Harmonised for regional accounts. So co-ordination with other stat-
methods should improve comparability across the Euro- isticians becomes a key issue for regional accounts.
pean Union even if the effect on quality is unclear for
individual member states.
7. Scope of document
More fundamentally, some national accounts concepts
can be interpreted in different ways at regional level and This document expands on the regional chapter of the
new principles have to be developed to deal with multi- revised ESA. Chapter I provides a set of principles
regional and cross-regional activity. Different interpre- governing the broad approach to producing regional
tations suit different purposes. The ESA regional GVA and GFCF. Occasionally the recommendations
chapter has developed the interpretation of some na- differ from those adopted for national accounts, as for
tional accounts concepts at regional level. That will lead the regional allocation of ancillary activities. Chapter II
to greater comparability between member states. The gives some practical guidance on how these should be
choices made for regional accounts in the European applied in certain industries where statisticians have
Union should develop this theoretical basis, but must encountered particular difficulties with principles,
also emphasize harmonization to reflect the structural methods and data.
funds' need for comparable estimates.
This document is intended to help regional statisticians
produce relevant, consistent and reliable figures which
6. Quality can provide a firm foundation for good regional policy.
The document should also help users understand the
The quality of regional statistics varies between regions figures they are using and thus use them more appropri-
across the European Union, but little work has been ately.
CHAPTER I: GENERAL PRINCIPLES
This chapter explores the general principles to be The different approaches to compiling regional accounts
adopted in measuring the gross value added (GVA) are discussed generally in section 4. Pure methods are
produced by and the gross fixed capital formation preferred to those involving estimation and bottom-up
(GFCF) of the producer units resident in a given region. methods are generally preferred to top-down estimates.
It expands on the principles set out in the regional Additional principles relating to GVA and GFCF are
chapter of the revised ESA. discussed in sections 5 and 6 respectively. In both
sections we focus on key areas of difficulty and potential
We begin by defining the concepts of regional territory, disagreement. For GVA an expenditure approach is not
residence and producer units, and establishing rules for feasible at regional level, but income and output ap-
the regional breakdown of GVA and GFCF. Our first proaches are both suitable and a mixed income-output
principle is that the allocation rules for GVA and GFCF approach is common.
should be consistent: GFCF should be allocated to the
same units as the GVA. (See 6.1 for details) Member states have developed different methods es-
sentially for practical and historical reasons. Those with
The economic territory of regions is largely clear cut, a strong system of regional government or where statis-
although boundaries can change over time. Certain tics are collected in regional offices have tended to
activities such as off-shore extraction of oil and gas and compile regional accounts by aggregating these esti-
territorial enclaves such as embassies cannot be allo- mates (a bottom-up approach). They usually have an
cated to regions and section 1 recommends the creation output based estimate of GVA. Statisticians in other
of an extra-regio to include these activities. member states have exploited their access to cen-
The concept of residence is discussed in section 2 and tralized administrative data such as registers or tax
preferred to a strictly territorial approach. records. They may have a more top-down approach to
regional accounts and may compile an income estimate
Producer units are discussed in section 3 and local KAU of GVA.
are recommended as the observation unit for regional
accounts by industry. There are great conceptual diffi- The differences in approach between member states
culties in allocating the activities of multi-regional units may appear large at first sight. But different methods
to regions. For example the gross operating surplus of can produce equally valid and comparable results. Also
multi-regional enterprises. However difficult it is, an allo- on closer examination, the actual methods of calculation
cation must be made to regions, otherwise the aggre- are often remarkably similar at a detailed level. For
gates are not comprehensive. For comparability it is example wages and salaries is the key determinant of
important that all member states adopt the same ap- GVA in several industries in both output and income
proach. based estimates. These similarities are illustrated in II,
which discusses the practical application of the general
principles outlined here and in ESA.
1. Regional territory goods use them (see ESA 1319 and 1320). These
principles conforms best with ESA. The principle
The economic territory of a country is unambiguously adopted for GFCF ensures consistency between GVA
defined in ESA 205 (see appendix A). For regional and GFCF. The concept of a resident producer unit is
accounts purposes it can be divided into the regional covered in section 3.
territory and the extra-regio territory, (see ESA 1304 and
1305). The residence principle is particularly difficult to apply in
the energy and transport industries which are discussed
in detail in chapter II. In brief the residence principle
1.1 The regional territory
means that GVA from transporting goods across several
It includes: regions is not split between the regions, but allocated to
one region - the one where the producer unit is resident.
a) the region that is part of the geographic territory of a Also GFCF in national infrastructure networks is allo-
country; cated to the region where the unit in charge of the
b) any free zones, including bonded warehouses and infrastructure is resident rather than where the asset is
factories under customs control in the region; located. For example GFCF on telephone cables or
railway lines is allocated to the region where the engin-
1.2 The extra-regio territory eering unit is deemed to be resident even though the
cables or rails are laid in other regions.
It is made up of parts of the economic territory of a
country which cannot be attached directly to a single Multi-regional units have permanent sites in more than
region. It consist of: one region. Their activity should be divided between
their constituent units (see section 3). But some pro-
a) the national air-space, territorial waters and the conti- ducer units are active in two or more regions without
nental shelf lying in international waters over which having permanent sites. For example a builder might
the country enjoys exclusive rights; acquire some equipment to work on a building site in
another region. These activities contribute to the GVA
b) territorial enclaves (i.e. geographic territories situated
and GFCF of the builder's region of residence not the
in the rest of the world and used, under international
region where the building site is located (unless the site
treaties or agreements between States, by general
is in existence long enough to become a local unit in its
government agencies of the country (embassies,
consulates, military bases, scientific bases etc.))
c) deposits of oil, natural gas etc. in international waters This residence approach will not meet all users' needs.
outside the continental shelf of the country, worked Users wishing to consider the infrastructure of a region
by resident units and its growth would wish to include these networks
where they are located regardless of the relevant pro-
1.3 The Nomenclature of Territorial Statistical
2.2 The territorial approach
The NUTS is the regional classification used to compile
An alternative concept of GVA and GFCF would be
GVA, GFCF and other regional statistics.
strictly territorial. According to the territorial concept, the
activities of the builder in the example above would be
2. Residence and territory concepts allocated to the region where the building site is located.
The inter-regional transport activity would be split be-
Some productive activity crosses regional boundaries eg tween the regions and GFCF on energy and transport
transport services and energy supply can consist of networks would be allocated to the region where the
moving goods between two or more regions. Producer asset is located. In more general terms - activity result-
units may also operate in more than one region either ing from factors of production would be allocated to the
at permanent sites or on a temporary basis eg builders region in which the economic activities are actually car-
may undertake work in different regions. A clear prin- ried out, irrespective of the resident regions of either the
ciple is needed to help member states allocate this factor of production or the production units.
inter-regional activity consistently between regions.
Differences between residence and territory based esti-
2.1 The residence principle mates of GFCF are likely to be small at NUTS level I, but
more significant for smaller areas such as NUTS III.
The general principle chosen for regional accounts is
that GVA should be allocated to the region where the An additional analysis of GFCF according to the territor-
producer unit is resident, and GFCF should be allocated ial principle might be useful to users interested in the
to the same region where the producer unit owning the capital stock or infrastructure of a region. However the
Throughout this document, the term producer unit will be used in a general sense; when particular precision is needed, a specific
reference will be made to the units included in the Council Regulation (EEC) N° 696/93 of 15 March 1993 on statistical units (enterprise,
kind of Activity (KAU), local unit, local KAU etc).
principle of residence has been chosen as the primary problem is more frequent for non-manufacturing indus-
one for regional accounts. tries and when multi-regional units are involved. In these
cases we must approach the local KAU via another
2.3 Commuting observational unit. In national accounts this may be
done using the KAU or enterprise. In regional accounts
This section outlines the principles for dealing with we also need the local unit to establish the correct region.
people living in one place, but working in another. This
commuting can be across national boundaries, but is Two features of the definition of local KAU and local unit
more common between regions - particularly for smaller have to be borne in mind:
areas and around metropolitan centres. These com-
a) They are fixed units. Mobile equipment such as ships,
muters can be employees or self-employed.
trains, planes cannot be local units. Mobile equip-
According to the residence principles, commuters con- ment has to be attached to local units in an appro-
tribute to GVA in the country and region in which the local priate and consistent way.
KAU where they work, is resident. Thus the estimates b) The local KAU and local unit definitions require at
of Compensation of Employees reflect wages and sa- least a minimum of labour activity ( According to ESA
laries in the region where they are earned, not the region 1322 this minimum, has to be considered as the
where the people earning them reside, nor for that yearly equivalent of one person working half-day).
matter the region where they are spent. The income of Sites with no labour activity (eg a railway crossing or
people resident in a region is measured by primary or automated signal box) cannot be local units.
disposable income of households and not GVA.
By extension of ESA (211) all units in their capacity as
Commuters also affect the calculation and interpretation owners of land and existing buildings are deemed - in
of GVA per head. GVA tends to be high in metropolitan respect solely of transactions relating to such owner-
areas and low in the surrounding suburbs. When we ships - to be resident units, or notional resident units, of
divide GVA by the resident population, we derive a very the region in which the land and building in question are
high GVA per head for metropolitan areas and very low located.
GVA per head for the suburbs.
3.2 The treatment of multi-regional and heteroge-
3. The selection of units and their regrou- neous units
ping Local KAUs have been chosen in section 3.1 as the
preferred statistical observation units for regional GVA
3.1 Statistical units and GFCF. This is straightforward for producer units
with only one site. But many producer units have sites
Units especially suitable for compiling regional aggre-
in more than one region and are active in more than one
gates are: local units(LU), local kind of activity units (local
industry. We must classify their activity correctly to local
KAU) and local units of homogeneous production (local
KAUs to obtain reliable regional aggregates by region
UHP) . These have been defined in the Regulation on
statistical units, which sets out all the units useful forthe
observation and analysis of the production system in the There are five possible situations:
European Union (see Appendix B).
1 ) The producer unit can provide full data for local KAU
The revised ESA has given precedence to KAU and local units. No problems arise; the compilation of aggre-
KAU as the most practical operational units for measur- gates by industry and their correct regional allocation
ing flows occurring in the process of production and the is straightforward. However, this is not usually the
use of goods and services. The UHP and local UHP are case.
still the best analytical units for processes such as input-
output analysis. Since KAU and local KAU have become 2) Full information exists for local units, and for KAUs.
the preferred units at national level, they should also be The producer unit can be regionalized correctly, but
adopted for regional accounts. This corresponds with the industrial classification of the local KAUs must be
the move from aggregates by branch to aggregates estimated when the unit has more than one activity.
classified by industry. 3) Full information exists for local units, but not for
KAUs can cover activity in more than one region and so KAUs. The producer unit can be regionalized
are not totally suitable for regional accounts. Local units, correctly, but the industrial classification of the KAUs
on the other hand, are strictly defined to be geographi- and local KAUs must be estimated when the unit has
cally identified places, but may cover several activities. more than one activity.
Both the region and the industry need to be correct for 4) Full information exists for KAUs, but not for local
regional accounts. For these and the reasons given units. The industry can be determined correctly, but
above, the local KAU is the recommended observational the regionalization of the information to local units
unit for regional accounts. and local KAUs must be estimated for multi-regional
The possibility of using the local KAU as primary unit for KAUs.
estimating GVA and GFCF depends on the statistical 5) Full information exists only at enterprise level. Either
sources and varies from country to country. Full infor- or both the regional and the industrial data have to be
mation at local KAU level is not always available. This
estimated for all producer units with more than one general conclusions can be drawn about the choice of
local KAU. methods and their accuracy.
Methods involving least estimation are obviously prefer-
able. So the recommended method of obtaining data for
the local KAUs of a producer unit are (in order of pref-
erence): a) Bottom-up methods
a) collect direct accounting information about each local The bottom-up or ascending method of estimating a
KAU; regional aggregate involves collecting data at local KAU,
and ascending by addition until the regional value of the
b) estimate each local KAU using accounting data for aggregate is established. The method is named bottom-
local unit and KAU. up because the elements for calculating the aggregate
c) estimate each local KAU using accounting data for are directly collected at this local KAU level.
local unit or KAU. A pseudo-bottom-up approach can be followed where
d) estimate each local KAU from enterprise data. data for local KAU are not available. Data for local KAU
can be estimated from enterprise, KAU or local unit data
Methods b, c and d produce increasingly less reliable using one of the methods in section 3.2. The estimates
estimates of the regional aggregates by industry. can then be aggregated to obtain regional totals just as
in a purely bottom-up approach. Many enterprises have
3.3 The treatment of ancillary activities only one local KAU and this method only requires esti-
mation for multi-regional and heterogeneous enter-
Ancillary activities are difficult to allocate to an industry prises.
and region and their contribution to GVA is particularly
difficult to measure; headquarters of enterprises(HQ)
are a particular problem. Ancillary activities are dis- b) Top-down methods
cussed and defined in Council Regulation (EEC) No regions, without attempting to single out the local KAU
696/93 on statistical units. or local unit. The national figure is distributed using an
indicator which is as close as possible to the variable to
a) Industry allocation. be estimated. For example wages and salaries might be
allocated to regions using total employment multiplied by
Ancillary activities (including HQs) must be allocated to average earnings from a different statistical source.
the same industry in regional and national accounts.
According to the Regulation: The method is named top-down because the aggregate
is allocated to a region and not to a local KAU or local
If ancillary activities are carried out for the benefit of a
unit. However, the notion of local KAU or local unit is, in
single entity, these activities and the resources they use
most cases, still needed to produce the correct regional
will constitute an integral part of the activities and re-
allocation. In the example above, the employment
sources of that unit. If ancillary activities are carried out
figures must be based on local KAU or local unit data.
basically for the benefit of two or more KAUs, the cost of
these ancillary activities must be spread over all the The notion of a local KAU or local unit does not always
KAUs which they support. underpin the estimates. Sometimes an indicator is used
to allocate an aggregate to regions. For example rail
b) Regional allocation transport GVA may be allocated to regions according to
the number of rail passengers and freight tonnage trans-
The regional allocation is straightforward if the ancillary ported. This type of method is described as a pseudo-
activities are carried out on the same site as the main top-down method and is less reliable than a pure
activities or if all units are located In the same region. top-down approach.
However ancillary activities on one site may also serve
sites in other regions eg accounts and personnel func- c) Mixed methods
tions. Ancillary activity may also be carried out from a
separate site eg a central office (HQ) or a transport The bottom-up method is rarely encountered in its pure
depot. The ancillary activities may then be separate form. There are always gaps in the data, which have to
local units and, according to the principle of residence, be filled using a top-down approach. Similarly many
they have to be allocated to the region where the units top-down methods often include data from comprehens-
are situated. (See ESA 1323). ive sources in the same way as bottom-up estimates.
Thus mixed methods are the norm.
4. Bottom-up and top-down methods
4.2 Comparison of bottom-up and top-down
Having outlined the general principles for compiling re- methods
gional accounts in sections 1-3, we now turn our atten-
tion to the methods used to estimate GVA and GFCF. The choice between bottom-up and top-down methods
Different member states use different methods and, as is dependent mainly on the statistical sources available,
discussed in the introduction, there are often very good but also reflects the aims of the regional accounts.
reasons for this and it does not necessarily affect the In principle the advantage of the bottom-up method is
quality or comparability of the figures. However, some that it measures the desired variable directly and allo-
cates it correctly to region and industry. Bottom-up d) Top-down methods should be generally applied to
methods can produce estimates for any geographical components, rather than the total. For example
area by aggregating the data appropriately (while main- gross operating surplus should be estimated in two
taining data confidentiality). They can also produce an parts: income of the self-employed or independent
alternative estimate at national level if they are based on workers and gross operating surplus of companies.
other sources. This alternative estimate could be used Similarly heterogeneous industries should be split
to validate the national accounts estimate. In practice it into sub-industries (see chapter II for examples).
is usually necessary to adjust the regional estimates to
agree with the national total. e) Different indicators should be used for components
with a different regional distribution.
Bottom-up methods depend on what the enterprises
state in their returns and in the case of under-reporting, f) Some "ad hoc" disaggregation may also be consi-
regional data will not tally with national figures, assuming dered if that improves the quality of the estimates.
that the latter were "comprehensive". In this instance, For example gross value added might be split into
making the figures tally would not involve a straightfor- that resulting from the labour and capital compo-
ward distribution of a small residual amount, i.e. a simple nents.
"statistical discrepancy", but would mean assigning to g) Different indicators can be used at NUTS I, II and III,
the regions national figures for the "underground econ- If that will produce more accurate estimates.
omy", i.e. figures, sometimes not inconsiderable, which Sometimes better data are available at NUTS I than
were not the result of statistical problems but of major for NUTS II and III.
h) In judging an indicator it is useful to think of the
An advantage of top-down methods is the numerical "reversal test". For example if wages and salaries
coherency between national and regional accounts. are used to estimate GFCF, we can ask "would
These methods may also be cheaper to develop in so employment or wages and salaries be estimated from
far as they exploit existing data or can be based on data on GFCF?"
nation-wide sample surveys rather than requiring com-
prehensive new registers and annual census-type col- i) Indicatorscan betested on existing data. To choose
lections. The main disadvantage is that the estimates between different indicators, one can compare the
are not produced with direct data but with indicators. actual figure collected with the estimate obtained by
using the indicator to breakdown the national aggre-
Reliability can be estimated for bottom-up methods. gate for the industry. The higher the correlation, the
Sampling error can be measured, something may be more suitable the indicator.
known about non-sampling error and the results can be
compared with the national total. Where indicators have 4.4 Adjustment of regional to national values
been used in top-down and mixed methods, it is hard to
assess accuracy. The sum of the regional values is rarely exactly equal to
the national total and the regional figures must usually
In conclusion, pure bottom-up methods have advant- be adjusted. These differences may arise from random
ages over top-down and pseudo-bottom-up methods and other errors in the regional data itself, or from
and should be the first choice. When data are not specific differences in coverage or definition of the na-
available for local KAUs, pseudo-bottom-up methods tional total.
are recommended. Only in cases where no reliable
information at enterprise level exists, should top-down Differences are usually allocated to the regions in pro-
methods be used. It is difficult to choose between a portion to the regional values, so the same percentage
pseudo-bottom-up method and a pure top-down ap- adjustment is applied to all regions. For example if the
proach; where local KAU data can be estimated reliably, national total is 5% higher than the sum of the regional
pseudo-bottom-up methods are preferable values, all the regional values are raised by 5%. This
pragmatic approach is not always appropriate for dealing
4.3 Improving top-down and mixed methods with coverage differences or non-random errors. Other
solutions should always be considered.
Top-down and mixed methods can generally be im-
One possibility is to make greater adjustments to the less
proved by adhering to the following principles where data
reliable estimates - often the smaller regions. This is
rarely if ever done because adjustments will have a more
a) Indicators should be as appropriate as possible and significant effect on estimates for smaller regions and
new regional data should be sought to validate or move them further from their unbiased estimates. The
replace them - independent of the national values if opposite approach is to include adjustments in large
necessary. Inappropriate indicators should only be a regions where they have little effect. This is sometimes
stopgap solution for major items in the accounts. done.
b) Where there are no regional data, the same indicator
4.5 Accuracy of regional accounts
should generally be used across the European Union
to improve consistency between member states. The accuracy of regional estimates of GVA and GFCF
c) If an indicator is not appropriate, the estimates should has already been discussed in the introduction and in
not be published separately. The results can be section 4.2. This section makes some additional points.
Regional data are usually less accurate than national
included in a total for completeness.
data because they are based on smaller samples and As a general principle GVA should be allocated to the
inferior quality databases. Similarly, estimates for less- region where the producer unit carrying out the activity
populated regions are less reliable than those for well- is resident.
populated regions. The choice of methods also affects
the accuracy of the figures see para 4.2. and 4.3. The statistical definition of the local KAU or local unit
requires it to be at a fixed and geographically identified
The national economy has a strong identity: the national place. Mobile equipment is explicitly excluded and its
boundary is fixed and cross-border flows (of people, activity has to be attached to a local unit. The residence
goods, services and financial assets) are usually of the local unit is an essential criterion for the allocation
measured, if not regulated. The regional economy is to a particular region of the GVA generated in local units.
much more open: regional boundaries change from time
to time and flows between regions are so commonplace 5.2 Income and output approaches
that they are rarely regulated or measured.
GVA by industry can be estimated in two ways: the
Thus regional accounts seem to make sense only within output and the income approaches. The two are math-
the framework of existing national accounts. National ematically equivalent and both are normally calculated
accounts can make use of more complete data and are at national level. The output and income measures of
not confronted with as many difficulties in assigning data GVA by industry can be used together in national ac-
to areas. The national system provides an independent counts to validate each other.
standard to measure the relative accuracy of regional
values; from the point of view of regional accounts, Both approaches can also be used for regional accounts.
national values must be accepted as given. Where the Ideally two estimates would be calculated independently
regional values are determined directly, any difference and the results used together. In practice memberstates
between their sum and the national values provides an only have enough independent regional data for one set
indication of possible errors - usually in the regional of estimates. Most member states use an output ap-
accounts. But sometimes the regionally differentiated proach supplemented with income data for the service
calculations can help to reveal implausible results in the sector where there is little regional output data.
national accounts, which should then be taken into ac- The income and output approaches can be used in
count when revisions are made at national level. combination with the various bottom-up and top-down
methods discussed in section 4. There is no reason why
4.6 Comparability of regional aggregates member states should all adopt the same approach. The
choice depends mainly on the statistical sources and the
In regional accounts we require comparability between
method should be designed to make the best possible
aggregates, between industries, between regions and
use of whatever detailed regional data exist.
over time. Regional accounts aggregates will be com-
parable if: For the income approach, the following components and
sub-components should be estimated separately wher-
- The national accounts series on which they are based
are exhaustive, reliable and comparable with those ever possible:
of other member states. - compensation of employees
- Member states have a common understanding of the - gross operating surplus (GOS)
regional aggregates they are trying to measure and
use the same principles and definitions. - GOS of the self-employed
- Member states have a common approach to dealing - GOS of other producer units
with any missing data ie using the same indicators for - rent
- capital consumption
- Methods are consistent over time.
- other taxes less subsidies on production
It is helpful, but not essential for the same statistical
sources to be used for each region or industry. For 5.3 Choice of indicators for top-down and pseudo-
example labour market estimates from the Labour Force bottom-up based methods
Survey are likely to be more comparable across the
European Union than those based on national data sets. Decisions on which indicators to use are tightly con-
However there is no particular advantage in using similar strained by the data available, and by their quality.
sources if principles, coverage and definitions vary. There seems to have been little empirical research into
the relative validity of the various indicators. Much de-
pends on the circumstances of individual countries and,
5. Principles and methods for GVA for top-down estimates, the magnitude of the amounts
to be estimated.
We gave some general recommendations on the choice
Regional GVA is a measure of the economic activity of of indicators in section 4.3. There are some additional
producer units resident in a region. It does not measure points relating solely to GVA:
the income of resident households.
a) Using a gross output or sales indicator to allocate
GVA between producer units or regions assumes that
intermediate consumption is the same proportion of low total GVA in the regions where ancillary activities are
output in all units or regions. concentrated. It seems more reasonable to assume
they make a positive contribution to GVA.
b) For industries where there is little output data, the
income approach has the advantage that wages and If no local KAU or local unit data exist, an appropriate
salaries are a substantial proportion of GVA. When indicator should be used to distribute GVA and GFCF
this information is available at local KAU or local unit among the different local KAUs or local units and units
level, only the gross operating surplus need be engaged in ancillary activities. Wages and salaries and
estimated. employment are the most appropriate indicators.
c) The gross operating surplus is usually allocated using When using a pseudo-bottom-up method to break down
wages and salaries, labour costs, employment or GVA between local units using an indicator, the alloca-
turnover. Amongst these a tentative preference may tion of GVA to the units engaged in ancillary activities
be given to turnover, followed by labour costs, wages (HQ included) tends to be done Implicitly.
and salaries and then the number of employees.
Wages and salaries are preferred to employment 5.5 The passage from regional GVA at basic prices
because those earning higher wages usually contri- to GDP per region (GDPR) at market prices
bute more to GVA than the lower paid.
d) Using an indicator for gross operating surplus almost 5.5.1 Introduction
always results in regional values with identical signs.
Output is to be valued at basic prices. Products used for
The surplus will be distributed across all the units to
intermediate consumption are to be valued at pur-
a greater or lesser extent. Thus if the enterprise or
chasers prices at the time they enter the process of
industry is profitable nationally, no region makes a
production. As a consequence, GVA per industry is
loss. Without some data at local unit level, it is not
valued at basic prices (see ESA 1328).
possible to identify profitable and unprofitable units
and improve the regional allocation. The basic price of a product is equivalent to the sum of
the cost of the goods and services used, and the re-
e) In capital intensive industries, an adhoc disaggre-
muneration of the factors of production needed to pro-
gation of GVA into labour and capital related portions
duce that product. It does not include taxes paid, neither
may be preferable to a disaggregation into compen-
subsidies on the products, but it includes the other taxes
sation of employees and gross operating surplus. and subsidies linked to production which it pays.
The disaggregation has two stages:
The regional equivalent of GDP is GDPR (gross domes-
1. Split GVA into labour and capital related portions. tic product per region). GDPR is valued at market prices
The ratio of wages and salaries to depreciation could by adding the regionalized taxes less subsidies on pro-
be used to estimate the ratio of the two portions. ducts and imports, and the value added tax (VAT) to
values added per region at basic prices (see ESA 1329)
2. The two portions should be allocated separately to
regions or local units. The labour related part of GVA Other taxes and subsidies linked to production, form part
can be allocated using labour costs, wages and of GVA at basic prices, and should be allocated to the
salaries or employment in order of preference. The local KAU or local unit where the production takes place,
capital related part requires an indicator such as when the income approach is used (see 5.2) for estimat-
depreciation, capital stock, or fixed capital formation, ing GVA at basic prices. They should be distinguished
in that order. The average of GFCF over several from taxes and subsidies on products and imports and
years would be better than one single year. VAT. The two are different in impact and should be
allocated separately forthe estimation of GDPR.
In a pseudo-bottom-up method, this procedure would be
carried out for each enterprise. In a top-down method
5.5.2 Principles for the regional allocation of VAT and
the national total itself would be broken down in this way.
taxes and subsidies on products and imports
5.4 Ancillary activities The application of the ESA rules for the national econ-
omy at regional level for the allocation of taxes and
In national accounts ancillary activities are treated as an subsidies on products and imports and VAT, is not
intermediate output within the enterprise. Ancillary units straightforward. Different interpretations may arise due
are not treated as separate local units. They are allo- to the fact that the regional economy is open and without
cated to the main activity and location of the enterprise. a tax system equivalent to that existing at national level.
In regional accounts we depart slightly from this ESA
principle because it is important to locate the unit in the In the Joint Working Party "Regional Accounts and Stat-
correct region. In regional accounts ancillary activity istical Indicators" and "National Accounts" of January
should contribute to GVA in the region where it occurs 1994 the principles to allocate other taxes and subsidies
and be deducted as a cost from the value added of other on products and imports and the value added tax (VAT)
units. The industry classification should be determined at regional level were discussed. Two different ap-
by national accounts conventions. proaches were proposed:
The problem of valuing the ancillary activity still remains. - These taxes and subsidies should be allocated to the
If we regard ancillary activities as a cost borne by other region where the value added is generated. This was
units as implied in the Regulation, we will record a very
argued, because the products cross the regional Based on the arguments above, the following convention
borders with these taxes already accounted. is settled:
- These taxes and subsidies should be allocated to the National VAT and taxes and subsidies on products and
region where the taxed and subsidized products are imports will be regionalized according to the value added
used either as final use or intermediate consumption. of all industries as valued at basic prices.
This was based on the hypothesis that national
economic territory rules also apply to the regional This convention would only apply when regionalising
territories and these taxes and subsidies are linked GDP and would not be binding when drawing up regional
to products and not to production accounts for general government in the future.
After deep discussion in several Working Parties meet- 6. Principales for allocating GFCF
ings, no agreement could be reached on which of these
approaches were the right interpretation of the ESA rules According to the ESA, (392) "GFCF consists of resident
applied at regional level. The position of the country producer units acquisitions, less disposals, of fixed
delegates can be summarized as follows: assets during a given period plus certain additions to the
a) In favour of regionalizing these taxes and subsidies value of non-produced assets realised by the productive
with regard to where goods are produced: activity of producer institutional units. Fixed assets are
tangible or intangible assets produced as output from
Germany, United kingdom, Netherlands, Ireland, processes of production that are themselves used re-
Denmark and Belgium peatedly, or continuously, in processes of production for
more than one year"
b) In favour of regionalizing this tax with regard to where
goods are used:
6.1 Allocation principle
Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Finland
and Austria The word "acquisitions" in the definition above can be
interpreted in different ways and the choice is a crucial
c) In favour of regionalizing VAT with regard to where one for GFCF. Producer units can "acquire" assets to
goods are used and other taxes and subsidies on use in the production process without actually owning
products and imports with regard to where goods are them. The assets might be legally owned by another
produced: part of the same enterprise, or by another enterprise.
Italy and Norway For example a subsidiary property company might own
all the buildings for an enterprise group; a builder might
hire construction equipment from a specialist leasing
5.5.3 The need for a convention
company on a long term contract; and many enterprises
The position maintained by the country delegates acquire assets in a tax-efficient way on a financial lease
showed a balance where a compromise solution was from a bank or credit institution. Users and owners of
needed to guarantee the harmonization of the estimation assets can clearly have different industrial classifications
procedures. This is based on the following arguments: and also different regional locations.
1. Gross domestic product at regional level is an aggre- According to ESA 1320, "the general principle of alloca-
gate that plays a key role for EU regional policies and ting gross fixed capital formation by region is ownership
should be calculated in order to lead to comparable just as in the accounts of the total economy(see par 205,
regional figures. foot note 1) Fixed assets owned by a multi-regional unit
are allocated to the local KAUs where they are used. As
2. No definite theoretical arguments to allocate VAT in national accounts fixed assets obtained through oper-
and other taxes and subsidies on products and ating leasing are recorded in the region of the owner and
imports to the region of production or to the region of those obtained though financial leasing, in the region of
use were showed during the different working party the user".
3. The indicators which could be used to allocate VAT 6.2 Sales of second-hand or existing assets
and other taxes and subsidies on products and
imports to the region of use of goods are not always Producer units sell existing assets to each other eg
available. Possible indicators, derived from regional second hand machinery. When assets move between
household accounts, are though in the ESA for being industries and regions, the total price paid should be
evaluated at NUTS II level while GDP is currently included in the GFCF in one industry or region and the
estimated at level NUTS III. However, indicators to price received should be deducted from GFCF in the
allocate these taxes and subsidies to the place of other. Transaction costs such as legal fees on sales of
production are easily available even at level NUTS III land and existing buildings are counted as additional
GFCF at national level.
4. In the past, Eurostat has been allocating these taxes
and subsidies proportional to the regional value 6.3 Choice of methods
added at factor cost. Using the place of production
criterion, will favour the coherency in regional GDP A top-down approach is generally unsuitable for GFCF
time series as it is particularly difficult to find appropriate indicators.
GFCF is by nature "lumpy" and smooth indicators such
as wages and salaries are not particularly appropriate. be a poor indicator of GFCF, though it is more defensible
It can be argued that wages and salaries reflects the in the longer term.
existing location of activity and is a suitable indicator for . , · · _ , ■ . . . . . , . ,„■
GFCF to improve the assets at these locations. GFCF In inclusion .nd.cators should be used o^nly to fill,n gaps
a n d s n o u d not b e t h e m a o r s o u r c e of G F C F
in new locations and large scale improvements do not fit ' J estimates
this picture. For any single year, wages and salaries will V I n c l u s t r y·
CHAPTER II: APPLYING THE PRINCIPLES TO PARTICULAR
1. Introduction estimate. But in a few cases in these industries, a
pseudo-top-down approach is recommended for practi-
This chapter discusses regional GVA and GFCF esti- cal reasons. The accuracy of these estimates should be
mates for the industries where statisticians have en- checked as recommended in chapter I section 4.5.
countered particular difficulties with principles, methods
and data. It illustrates the practical application of the In addition to data problems, some of these industries
concepts of ESA, ESA/Reg and the general principles in are heterogeneous. In such cases we recommend that
chapter I. All the principles in chapter I apply to these estimates be compiled at a more disaggregated level.
industries and are referred to rather than re-iterated in Sub-industries or components should be estimated
this chapter. using different methods and indicators reflecting the
special characteristics of the sub-industry. The results
The chapter also gives practical guide-lines on methods can then be aggregated. A disaggregated approach is
and data for the industries concerned. These recom- particularly recommended for transport and communica-
mendations should be applied across the European tion services where there are conceptual difficulties as
Union to improve the cohesion of the estimates. well as data problems.
1.1 Industries covered 1.2 Other industries
Regional tables of the ESA annex are based on Sections Methods for agricultural accounts are covered in: "Ma-
of the NACE Revl. Therefore GVA and GFCF by indus- nual on Economic accounts for Agriculture and Forestry"
try should be evaluated according this standard classifi- SOEC 1992 and in the Eurostat internal document "Re-
cation gional Agricultural Accounts Manual" 1994.
The following industries, which correspond to sections In other industries there are fewer difficulties in under-
of the NACE Rev 1, need further details standing how the general principles should be applied,
although there may be data and other practical prob-
C Mining and quarrying
lems. The approaches described for the five industries
E Electricity, gas and water supply considered here can also be applied to other industries
as outlined below.
Dealing with multi-regional enterprises is a particular
I Transport Storage and Communication problem in manufacturing, distribution etc and non-mar-
J Financial intermediation ket services, but the principles are clear from chapter I
(section 3.2). The treatment of embassies is a minor
Pure bottom-up methods are not usually possible for problem in the non-market services industry, but the
these industries because full information about local treatment is also clear from chapter I (section 1). Lack
KAU or local units is not available in most member of comprehensive regional data is the main problem for
states. However enterprise or KAU data are often com- market services which is very heterogeneous and has a
plete and pseudo-bottom-up methods may be used in- large number of small units. However, the principles can
stead. Where such data are not reliable or not available be applied in a disaggregated approach as described
a top-down approach may be necessary. A pure top- here.
down estimate is usually preferred to a pseudo-top-down
2. Mining and quarrying (C) and electri- tors recommended in chapter I are not available, a
city pseudo-bottom-up method is still preferable.
gas and water supply (E) Loss-making units may be particularly difficult to identify
and measure correctly in this industry because they form
2.1 Introduction part of multi-regional enterprises or vertically integrated
companies. Most methods using indicators for GVA or
These industries have the following breakdown: the gross operating surplus implicitly assume that the
gross operating surplus has the same sign in all producer
C: Mining and quarrying units within the enterprise (chapter I section 5.3d).
CA: Mining and quarrying of energy producing
materials 2.4 Allocation of GFCF
10 Mining of coal and lignite; extraction of peat Again there is usually little data for local units and a
pseudo-bottom-up method is commonly used, failing
11 Extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas
that a top-down method may be necessary.
service activities incidental to oil and gas extraction
For pseudo-bottom-up and top-down methods, we rec-
ommend that GFCF on the distribution network eg pi-
12 Mining of uranium and thorium ores pelines and cables should be distinguished from other
GFCF. This requires an adhoc disaggregation in two
CB: Mining and quarrying except energy producing stages:
1. GFCF on the distribution network should be separa-
E: Electricity, gas and water supply
ted from other GFCF. If this data does not exist for
40 Electricity, gas, steam and hot water supply all enterprises, it should be estimated using data for
41 Collection, purification and distribution of water
2. Other GFCF may be allocated at the local unit level
Industries classified in CA (10 and 12) AND CB present using indicators such as capacity. For investment in
no special problems and discussion here will focus on the distribution network, a physical indicator such as
industries in 11, 40 and 41 which often have very differ- the length of the network may be used.
ent kinds of local unit. They have a few large capital
intensive units such as power stations, but they also
2.5 Extra-regio allocation
have a large number of labour intensive administrative
local units. They also have distribution networks of Permanently-installed mineral oil and gas extraction fa-
pipelines and cables which may cross regional boun- cilities in international waters or on the continental
daries. In general these industries consist of a small shelves under the country's sovereignty should be allo-
number of large enterprises. The leading enterprises in cated to extra-regio.
these industries are active throughout the entire national
territory or at least in several regions. They are also
often in the public sector. 3. Construction (F)
The methods used to allocate GVA and GFCF should 3.1 Introduction
take these factors into account in order to produce the
most accurate estimates possible. This division of the NACE rev 1 is divided in the following
2.2 Producer units 45.1 Site preparation
Cross-regional activity is a particular feature of these 45.2 Building of complete constructions or parts
industries eg energy supply from one region to another thereof
and national networks of pipelines and cables. GVA and
GFCF from all these activities must be allocated to the Civil engineering
region where the producer units doing the work is resi- 45.3 Building installation
dent. This is discussed in chapter I (section 2.1).
45.4 Building completion
2.3 Allocation of GVA 45.5 Renting of construction or demolition equipment
Complete information is usually only available at enter- with operator
prise level. Thus a bottom-up approach is not feasible
and a pseudo-bottom-up method is recommended. A 3.2 Producer units
purely top-down approach is less desirable. Local KAU or local units classified to this industry are
Any method should try to take into account the different eligible statistical units if they have their own on-site
kinds of local unit: capital intensive and labour intensive. office or pay-roll department with separate accounting.
This requires an adhoc disaggregation of GVA as pro- Building sites should be treated as independent local
posed in chapter I section 5.3e. Even when the indica- units when they exceed a certain minimum size (see
ESA 1325). It is clear that only when they meet this