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The National Accounts are statistics that describe the performance of the Irish economy as a whole. They answer questions such as:

  • Is the Irish economy growing or shrinking?
  • What sectors of the economy are growing fastest?
  • What are our main exports and imports?
  • Are people as well as corporations benefiting from economic growth?
  • Are people spending more or saving more?
  • How much is the national debt?

The most important statistic in National Accounts is Gross Domestic Product but there are hundreds of indicators in the Accounts, each of them giving more specific information on the economy. 

National Accounts are calculated the same way for each year, which allows for comparison of how the economy has changed over time. They are also calculated the same way in all countries, which allows comparisons across the world.

The main National Accounts are published quarterly (four times a year) in the Quarterly National Accounts, with extra detailed information published once a year in the National Income and Expenditure. Other publications then analyse the GDP from different perspectives, looking at the Supply and Use of products, Productivity, Regional Accounts, and the Flows that come after GDP.  

What is commonly referred to as the 'National Debt' is called 'Government Debt' in National Accounts. National Accounts takes all corporations, households, government and non-profits together to show how they are faring economically, while Government Accounts show the transactions and financial position of just that one sector. The total debt of the economy as a whole is shown in the International Investment Position.

Read next: National Income and Expenditure

A-Z of National Accounts

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