23.2.2024 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics describe general government revenue and expenditure by quarter. The statistics are derived statistics, according to national accounts, i.e. statistics consistent with the national accounts derived from sector-specific primary statistics. The statistics were established to develop economic monitoring of general government for timely and reliable measuring of the public sector required by the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact and the ECB. The figures of the statistics are at current prices and are also used as an input in the quarterly national accounts statistics for the balance of supply and in the quarterly sector accounts statistics.

Statistical population

In accordance with ESA 2010, Finland’s general government (central government, local government and social security funds) comprises the following units (in Finnish):  https://www.tilastokeskus.fi/meta/luokitukset/_linkki/soveltamisp.html

Statistical unit

For the statistical units (in Finnish), follow the link : https://www.tilastokeskus.fi/meta/luokitukset/_linkki/soveltamisp.html

Unit of measure

Unit of measurement for the time series is EUR.

Base period

All the time series of the statistics are at current prices.

Reference period

The statistics are published quarterly with a delay of approximately 75 days from the end of the statistical period.

Reference area

The reference area for the statistics is Finnish general government.

Sector coverage

In accordance with ESA 2010, the statistics cover all units belonging to Finnish general government (central government, local government and social security funds). 

Time coverage

The quarterly time series of the statistics start from 1999.

Frequency of dissemination

The statistics on general government revenue and expenditure are published quarterly with a delay of approximately 75 days from the end of the statistical period. The data for the two latest years are preliminary and will become revised as annual national accounts data are revised. As the time series of annual national accounts become revised, the time series of this set of statistics will also be revised.

Concepts

Adjustment for seasonal variation

Seasonal adjustment means the estimation of seasonal variation and the elimination of its impact from a time series. The obtained result is a seasonally adjusted time series. The trend of a time series is obtained when both seasonal variation and irregular random variation are eliminated from a time series. Trading or working day adjusted series are in turn obtained when the factors caused by the variation in the number of trading days or weekdays is eliminated from the observation of the original time series. The Tramo/Seats method is used for the seasonal adjustment of time series at Statistics Finland. In the Tramo/Seats method, preadjustment is based on a regression model (which allows for outlying observations, public holidays and the weekday structure) and the seasonal adjustment proper on an ARIMA model constructed for the time series.

Capital taxes

Capital taxes (D.91) consist of taxes levied at irregular and very infrequent intervals on the values of the assets or net worth owned by institutional units or on the values of assets transferred between institutional units as a result of legacies, gifts between individuals or other transfers (e.g. inheritance tax, death duty and gift tax).

Capital transfers

Capital transfers are different from current transfers in that they involve the acquisition or disposal of an asset, or assets, by at least one of the parties to the transaction. Regardless of whether the capital transfers are made in cash or in kind, they result in a commensurate change in the financial, or non-financial, assets shown in the balance sheets of one or both parties to the transaction.
Capital transfers consist of capital taxes, investment subsidies and other cap-ital transfers.

Compensation of employees

Compensation of employees (D.1) is defined as the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by an employer to an employee in return for work done by the latter during the accounting period.

Compensation of employees is broken down into:
a) wages and salaries (D.11): wages and salaries in cash; wages and salaries in kind;
b) employers’ social contributions (D.12): employers’ actual social contributions (D.121); employers’ imputed social contributions (D.122).

Consumption of fixed capital

Consumption of fixed capital (P.51C) represents the amount of fixed assets used up, during the period under consideration. Consumption is the result of normal wear and tear and foreseeable obsolescence, including a provision for losses of fixed assets as a result of accidental damage which can be insured against.

Consumption of fixed capital should be distinguished from the depreciation shown in business accounts. It refers to the amount of fixed assets used up, during the period under consideration. It should be estimated on the basis of the stock of fixed assets and the probable average economic life of the different categories of those goods.

Employers' actual social contributions

Employers' actual social contributions (D611). Employers pay employers' ac-tual social contributions to social security funds and pension funds that maintain the social security system in order to ensure social benefits for their employees. For example, employer's unemployment insurance contributions, employer's employment pension insurance contributions, employer's social contributions.

Gross fixed capital formation

Gross fixed capital formation consists of resident producers' acquisitions, less disposals, of fixed assets. Fixed assets are tangible or intangible assets produced as outputs from processes of production that are themselves used repeatedly, or continuously, in processes of production for more than one year.

Intermediate consumption

Intermediate consumption consists of the value of the goods and services consumed as inputs by a process of production, excluding fixed assets whose consumption is recorded as consumption of fixed capital. The goods and services may be either transformed or used up by the production process.

Products used for intermediate consumption should be recorded and valued at the time they enter the process of production. They are to be valued at the purchasers’ prices for similar goods or services at that time.


Net lending/net borrowing

Net lending/borrowing is a balancing item in the capital account and the fi-nancial account.

Net lending/borrowing corresponds to the amount available to a unit or sec-tor for financing, directly or indirectly, other units or sectors, or the amount which a unit or sector is obliged to borrow from other units or sectors.

The corresponding concept to net lending/borrowing in financial accounts is financial transactions, net. It is the difference between net acquisition of fi-nancial assets and liabilities. If a sector acquires financial assets in excess of the amount of new debt incurred during the period it is a net lender.

Output at basic prices

Output at basic prices consists of the products which have been produced in the accounting period. Three categories of output are distinguished: market output, output for own final use, and other non-market output. Output is to be recorded and valued when it is generated by the production process.

Property expenditure and income

Property expenditure and income (D.4) are generated when the owners of financial assets or natural resources give such assets to other institutional units for use. Income generated from the use of financial assets is called in-vestment income while the income from the use of natural resources is rent. Property income is the total sum of investment income and rents. Property income is classified as follows:

a) Interest (D.41);
b) Distributed income of corporations (D.42):
1) Dividends (D.421);
2) Withdrawals from income of quasi-corporations (D.422);
c) Reinvested earnings on direct foreign investment (D.43);
d) Other investment income (D.44):
1) Investment income attributable to policyholders in insurance (D.441);
2) Investment income based on pension entitlements (D.442);
3) Investment income from collective mutual funds belonging to sharehold-ers (D.443);
e) Land and natural resource rents (D.45).

Saving

Saving is the balancing item in the use of income accounts. It is the positive or negative amount resulting from current transactions which establishes the link with accumulation. If saving is positive, non-spent income is used for the acquisition of assets or for paying off liabilities. If saving is negative, certain assets are liquidated or certain liabilities increase.

Social benefits other than social transfers in kind

Social benefits other than social transfers in kind (D.62) include:

a) Social security benefits in cash are payable to households by social security funds and are provided under social security schemes. E.g. pensions, unemployment benefits.

b) Social assistance benefits in cash are payable to households by government units to meet the same needs as social insurance benefits but are not made under a social insurance scheme incorporating social contributions and social insurance benefits. E.g. living allowances paid by municipalities, child maintenance allowances.

Social security contributions

Social security contributions (OECD Classification of Taxes heading 2000) covers all compulsory payments that confer an entitlement to receive a (contingent) future social benefit. These include a) employers' social security contributions, e.g. unemployment insurance and old-age insurance premia paid by employers, b) employees' social security contributions, e.g. unemployment insurance and old-age insurance premia paid by employees, employees' contributions to the National Pension Insurance scheme and to the National Health Insurance scheme, c) social security contributions paid by independent entrepreneurs and non-employed persons, e.g. old-age insurance premia paid by entrepreneurs.

The OECD Classification of Taxes heading "Social security contributions" covers only statutory social security contributions, and does not include voluntary social security (a sub-heading under D.611 "Actual social contributions" in the national accounts).

Social transfers in kind

Social transfers in kind consist of individual goods and services provided as transfers in kind to individual households by government units and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs), whether purchased on the market or produced as non-market output by government units or NPISHs.

Subsidies

Subsidies (D.3) are current unrequited payments which general government or the institutions of the European Union make to resident producers, with the objective of influencing their levels of production, their prices or the remuneration of the factors of production. Other non-market producers can receive other subsidies on production only if those payments depend on general regulations applicable to market and non-market producers as well.

Subsidies granted by the Institutions of the European Union cover only current transfers made directly by them to resident producer units.

Subsidies are classified into:

a) subsidies on products (D.31)
(1) import subsidies (D.311)
(2) other subsidies on products (D.319)
b) other subsidies on production (D.39).

Taxes on production and imports

Taxes on production and imports (D.2) consist of compulsory, unrequited payments, in cash or in kind which are levied by general government, or by the Institutions of the European Union, in respect of the production and importation of goods and services, the employment of labour, the ownership or use of land, buildings or other assets used in production. These taxes are payable whether or not profits are made.

Taxes on production and imports are divided into:
a) taxes on products (D.21)
(1) value added type taxes (VAT) (D.211)
(2) taxes and duties on imports excluding VAT (D.212)
– import duties (D.2121)
– taxes on imports excluding VAT and import duties (D.2122)
(3) taxes on products, except VAT and import taxes (D.214)
b) other taxes on production (D.29).

Trend

Trend describes the long-term development in a time series. A trend series has been adjusted for seasonal and random variations, so that the effects of e.g. weather conditions or short-term labour disputes do not show in it. By contrast, permanent changes, such as growth in demand due to changed taxation, will show in a trend. The direction indicated by the end of a trend should be interpreted with caution. The latter part of a trend indicator may change once it has been updated with data for subsequent months.

Value-added tax

Value-added tax (D.211) is a tax on goods or services collected in stages by enterprises and which is ultimately charged in full to the final purchasers. Value-added tax (VAT) comprises the value added tax which is collected by the General government and which is applied to national and imported products.

For the total economy account, VAT is equal to the difference between total invoiced VAT and total deductible VAT.

In the national accounts, taxes are recorded on an accrual basis. The accrual-basis method of recording differs from the cash-basis method of recording in certain respects. Tax amounts recorded on cash basis express the amount accrued on the cash account. Tax amounts recorded on an accrual basis show the amount of tax accruing from the transaction over the period of time when the tax liability was incurred.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Timeliness

The statistics on general government revenue and expenditure are published quarterly with a delay of approximately 75 days from the end of the statistical period. The data for the two latest years are preliminary and will become revised as annual national accounts data are revised. As the time series of annual national accounts become revised, the time series of this set of statistics will also be revised.

Punctuality

The statistics have mostly been published according to the release calendar. The delays have been due to information technology-related reasons.

Data revision

The revising of the latest releases at the level of total revenue and total expenditure can be reviewed in the revision table of the publication.

Coverage error

The data used in the compilation mainly comprise the financial statements of general government actors and administrative documents. Any under-coverage is corrected with the indicator method.

Over-coverage rate / A2

The data used in the compilation mainly comprise the financial statements of general government and administrative documents. Any over-coverage is corrected with the indicator method.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

The statistics are comparable with countries belonging to the European Statistical System.

Comparability - over time

The time series of the statistics are comparable for the entire time series.

Coherence - cross domain

The concepts and definitions of the statistics are consistent with statistics based on the methodological manual for ESA 2010.

Coherence - internal

The parts of the accounting system that make up National Accounts – annual and quarterly accounts, public sector data, real sector accounts, financial accounts,  regional accounts and supply tables – are congruous amongst themselves. In practice, however, perfect congruity of the data at all times may not be possible, and temporary incongruities may occur. The differences are most often caused by differing publication schedules of the statistics. 

Source data and data collections

Source data

The source data are described in the related statistical manual.

Data collection

The data collection method is described in the related statistical manual.

Frequency of data collection

The frequency of data collection varies from a month to a quarter.

Methods

Data compilation

The compilation of data is described in the related statistical manual.

Data validation

The primary source data are subject to different logical checks. The final statistical data are subject to consistency checks, i.e. it is checked that the phenomenon is also present in all national accounts statistics. The data are validated horizontally and vertically in connection with compiling and reporting. In connection with each transmission of data to the EU Commission, Eurostat reviews the data delivered by the Member States. The data may also be updated during the validation process.

Documentation on methodology

The methodological description in terms of the general government revenue and expenditure can be found on Eurostat’s website: Manual on Government Deficit and Debt – Implementation of ESA 2010

The statistics quality has been reviewed in national auditing and in Eurostat's quality control. 

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Economic Statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.

Further information: Statistical legislation

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable.

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

Confidentiality - data treatment

The statistics are macroeconomic statistics covering general government. The releases do not contain any microdata that needs to be protected. The data protection follows Statistics Finland’s data protection and data security guidelines.

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service.

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland

Data sharing

The data content of the statistics is reported to Eurostat and ECB on the national release day in the SDMX format. The data content of the national publication is in the PxPro format.

Other

Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, also publishes the data on its own website.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.

The data of the statistics are published on Statistics Finland’s home page and on Eurostat’s website.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.

The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.

Seasonally adjusted data in statistics on economic trends become revised because of the calculation method used. Additional information on a new time series observation is exploited in model-based calculation methods and this is reflected as changes in previous releases. Revisions of the latest figures to be seasonally adjusted are elaborated on in the releases and quality reports of statistics.

A summary table of the revisions that have taken place is also published in connection with key statistics on economic trends and some annual statistics. The table shows how the data for the statistical reference periods have changed between the first and the most recent statistical release.

Relevance

The statistics were established to develop economic monitoring of general government for timely and reliable measuring of the public sector required by the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact and the ECB. The statistics were developed in three phases. Regulation EC No 264/2000, adopted in 2000, specifying the implementation of national accounts and concerning what are referred to as first phase indicators, requires the data delivery to begin as of the beginning of 2000. The regulation applicable to the delivery of the second phase indicators was adopted in the summer of 2002 (Regulation (EC) No 1221/2002) and covers all remaining items of general government revenue and expenditure, excluding some balance of supply items. Regulation (EC) No 1161/2005, adopted in 2005, on compiling statistics on all sectors complements the economic outlook of the general government in terms of some balance of supply items. The key data content of the statistics is reported to Eurostat under the ESA transmission programme. The statistics unit of the Bank of Finland is obligated to submit the data content of the statistics to the ECB on a quarterly basis. Statistics Finland compiles and submits the data in question to the ECB on behalf of the Bank of Finland.

Quality assessment

General government quarterly statistics sum up all transactions to the corresponding transactions in national accounts. The statistics are comparable between EU countries on an annual and quarterly basis. The net lending calculated as the difference between general government revenue and expenditure is comparable to the Maastricht convergence criterion. The quality of the statistics can be assessed by comparing the net lending by sector in the statistics with the net lending of the corresponding sector in financial accounts.

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice.

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.

Further information: Publication principles for statistics

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data

Statistical experts

Jouni Pulkka
Senior Statistician
029 551 3532

The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.

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