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Info: What Is "1993 SNA" as Mentioned with National Accounts?
Wednesday, 06 Aug 2008 09:34 ET
By Jean-Marc Rollet
"1993 SNA" stands for "1993 System of National Accounts," an international standard for comparable reporting of national accounts (GDP, etc.) statistics across countries.

As per the United Nations (see: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/sna1993/introduction.asp):

The System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA on the web* - English only) is a conceptual framework that sets the international statistical standard for the measurement of the market economy. It is published jointly by the United Nations, the Commission of the European Communities, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank.

The System of National Accounts consists of an integrated set of macroeconomic accounts, balance sheets and tables based on internationally agreed concepts, definitions, classifications and accounting rules. Together, these principles provide a comprehensive accounting framework within which economic data can be compiled and presented in a format that is designed for purposes of economic analysis, decision-taking and policy-making.

Being the most comprehensive macroeconomic standard, it also serves also as the main reference point for statistical standards of related statistics such as the balance of payments, financial and government finance statistics.

Being a conceptual framework, it does not attempt to provide comprehensive compilation guidance on how to make estimates nor is it descriptive in setting priorities which accounts and tables should be implemented or expresses norms on the frequency and format of their presentation. For practical compilation guidance, international agencies have developed separate handbooks like the handbooks of national accounting prepared by the United Nations Statistics Division.

As market economies and economic interactions in the world evolve, the 1993 SNA has changed from its 1953 and 1968 version. Reference materials about the revision of the 1968 SNA are available under From 1968 SNA to 1993 SNA. There historical materials (minutes of meetings and other reports) reflecting the discussions that led to the adoption of the 1993 SNA are presented in support of the ongoing 1993 SNA update process.

Recent aspects of globalisation and the appearances of new economic phenomena have led to new topics that warrant a comprehensive rather than an incremental update of 1993 SNA. News and latest progress about the ongoing worldwide comprehensive update towards the 1993 SNA Rev.1 mandated by Statistical Commission in 2002 can be found on the Update Project's website Towards 1993 SNA Rev.1.

All incremental updates of the 1993 SNA till 2002 have been incorporated in this online version of the 1993 SNA (blue book) after they were approved by the United Nations Statistical Commission. The Table of Contents of the 1993 SNA provides easy reference to the complete and updated text of 1993 SNA till 2002 by Chapters and Sections. A Search facility allows users to search words or word groups in the entire 1993 SNA. The Glossary of terms shows definitions used in national accounts as well as references to where they are to be found in the 1993 SNA.

Note: SNA is not a classification of industries (SIC, NAICS, ISIC) or economic activities (NACE), which are used to structure many of the datasets on DataBuffet.com.  These classifications may be found in the "Industrial Classification Dictionary" section of the downloadable desktop catalog, available from the "Tools" menu of DataBuffet.com.