National Accounts Statistics:

National Accounts Statistics provide data users with a comprehensive and coherent picture of the economic performance through the provision of detailed data on all economic activities in an economic region in consecutive periods. Moreover, national accounts data can be used to study the structure of the economy and its development in the long run. Likewise, structural changes can only be analyzed in the frame provided by the national accounts as these changes reflect the growth of production capacity or the productive capacity whether at the level of economic sectors or the level of the whole economy. They also reflect growth in consumption and investment.


Coverage and Methodology:

The general targeted national accounts statistics methodology, that is based on the GCC approved road map to develop statistical work and the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008), as well as the associated recommendations and classifications, is reflected in the following:

- Adoption of international best practices of data compilation for the quarterly GDP at current and constant prices by 2017.

- Develop a central frame for supply and use tables to compile annual GCC national accounts to ensure consistency among the three GDP calculation methods, and make the best use of available data. The key steps required to increase and enhance the source data are to agree on a common structure of industries and products to compile supply and use tables, and on a standard approach for double reduction and the estimation of non-observed economy (NEO)

- Implement the System of National Accounts (SNA) issued by the United Nations in 2008 and the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC4), and the country gradual shift to the estimation of quantitative series during 2018-2020.


Adopted International Classifications and Standards:

The majority of the GCC countries adopt and apply the System of National Accounts 1993 issued by the United Nations. They compile data and process it according to the principles and recommendations set out in the system with regard to the classification of institutional sectors (non-financial corporations sector, the financial corporations sector, the general government sector, household sector (nonprofit institutions serving households sector ((NPISHs), and the rest of the World), and the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC3.1). National Accounts data is collected, processed and disseminated at both current and constant prices according to the three known methods: the production method, the expenditure method and the income method.

Taking into account that one of the GCC countries has already started to compile its National Accounts based on the SNA 2008, and that the other GCC countries have started to pave the way for the implementation of the SNA 2008 through several phases including: the shift to the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC 4) and the Central Product Classification (CPC2), and addressing some of the special issues of the SNA 2008  pertaining to the key changes introduced through the system like the issues related to the transfer of expenditure on weapons from the government final consumption to government gross capital formation, the inclusion of research and development and databases expenditure in the fixed assets as capital formation, the ­­indirect distribution of the estimated financial intermediation services by users and other changes.


Data Dissemination including timeliness

In the field of national accounts statistics, the GCC-Stat collects national accounts data using several methods that have been agreed upon by the GCC National Statistical Centers, they are as follows:

a. The United Nations National Accounts Questionnaire (NAQ) is the key source for data collection in this area. Countries respond to this survey on an annual basis and at a high level of detail.

b.The transmission tables approved by the GCC-Stat and the GCC Member States which include core data and data that are not provided through the UN questionnaire.

c. The websites of the National Statistical Centers (NSC’s) through which national data on national accounts is disseminated.


After the data evaluation and review processes, data is disseminated using various methods:

a) The national statistics data of the GCC countries and of the GCC as a whole region is disseminated on the GCC-Stat data portal where data is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis.

b) Printed bulletins prepared by the GCC-Stat including: the GDP at Current Prices Bulletin and the GCC National Accounts Bulletin which includes the key national accounts statistics at both current and constant prices.

c) Other economic bulletins and reports that include the most important national accounts indicators such as the Statistical Yearbook, and report on the GCC Aspects of Economic Performance,

The released data include those related to annual and quarterly national accounts as four of the GCC countries compile National Accounts Statistics (NAS) on quarterly basis; such data is aggregated and disseminated when available.


 Aggregation at GCC level:

The national accounts data is collected from the GCC National Statistical Centers; each country releases national accounts data in its local currency and then the figures are changed to the official exchange rate of the US dollar. All GCC countries, apart from Kuwait, adopt a fixed rate for the US dollar, as for the floating rate adopted in Kuwait, the annual average of the exchange rate of the Kuwaiti dinar against the US dollar is used. In this way, GCC national accounts data at current prices estimated in US dollars can be available when the aggregation at GCC level becomes possible.

With regard to national accounts estimates at constant prices, it is worth noting that four of the GCC countries, namely, (the Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman and Kuwait) prepare national accounts using 2010 as the base year to calculate the GDP, while the United Arab Emirates and Qatar use 2007 and 2013 respectively to publish national accounts series. Based on the available data, GDP data and its components are converted to the base year 2010 for aggregation purposes at GCC level, noting that using this method does not alter growth rates at constant prices for the data that does not adopt 2010 as a base year.


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