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Background Notes

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Revisions in this release

All quarters have been revised in line with the Quarterly National Accounts, Government Finance Statistics and International Accounts (Balance of Payments). This includes significant revisions to statistics for 2021 and earlier years. Hence the data presented here is more up to date than the previous Non-Financial Institutional Sector Accounts, and the Household Saving Q1-2022 published on 9 June 2022.

Note on Infographic

The infographic shows the change in household gross saving (B8g) and summarises the largest changes in transactions into four items:

  1. Government supports: this is the increase in social protection (S13 D62 Uses) and subsidies (S13 D3 Uses). EWSS = Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme. PUP = Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
  2. Consumption: Household Final Consumption Expenditure (S1M P3 Uses) on goods and services, excluding interest and capital investment.
  3. Employment and Self-Employment: this is the change in compensation of employees (S1M D1 Resources), GOS/GMI (S1M B2A3G Balancing), less the change in government subsidy (S13 D3 Uses).
  4. Income taxes etc: Taxes on income and wealth paid by households (S1M D5 Uses), which includes PAYE, the USC and income tax from the self-employed, and social contributions (S1M D61 Uses), which is mainly made up of PRSI.

All values are current price non-seasonally adjusted.

Description of Institutional Sectors

In the Sector Accounts, Institutional Sectors are distinguished not in terms of the nature of their production activity (such as agriculture, industry, services, etc.) but rather in terms primarily of the institutional form of the units that make them up. Thus, companies, whether engaged in commercial non-financial or financial business, are grouped in a different sector from households, even though the latter are in many cases also engaged in commercial production, and from government or other non-market producers such as voluntary agencies.

Institutional Sectors

The classification system is that of the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA2010). The sectors and sub-sectors are described more fully in the Statistics Explained section of our website. The sectors are:

S.1 Resident Economy is the sum of all the sectors of the domestic economy.

S.11 Non-Financial Corporations are companies producing goods and non-financial services on a commercial basis. They include government-controlled companies, private companies and other corporate forms of business, whether owned by residents or non-residents or both. In particular, therefore, Irish subsidiaries of foreign companies and the Irish branches of foreign companies operating in Ireland on a branch basis are included. The foreign subsidiaries of Irish companies and the foreign branches of Irish companies operating abroad are excluded. Large partnerships such as big law and accounting firms, are included in S.11, even though they are not incorporated they are quasi-corporations. Entities which operate as holding companies for non-financial corporations are classified in the financial sector and not here.

S.12 Financial Corporations are corporate bodies producing financial services on a commercial basis. As with S.11, they can take various legal forms, with a range of ownership arrangements. They include banks, insurance corporations and pension funds.

S.13 General Government consists of central and local government. Central government includes the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (formerly the NPRF), and non-commercial agencies owned and funded by government, but does not include commercial state-owned companies (which are proper to S.11 or S.12 as appropriate). The Register of Public Sector Bodies sets out which bodies are included here.

S.1M: S.14 + S.15 Households and Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households. S.14 accounts are the economic transactions of people in their capacity as consumers, employees, self-employed workers, pensioners and recipients of other income and transfers. S.15 consists of non-profit institutions such as charities and non-commercial agencies not owned by the government, such as sports clubs and churches.

S.2 Rest of World. This sector represents the economy's transactions with non-residents. The conceptual definition is the same as in the Balance of Payments (BOP) statistics. In particular, non-residents include foreign subsidiaries of Irish companies, the foreign branches of Irish companies that operate abroad on a branch basis, and the head offices of foreign companies that operate in Ireland on a branch basis.

S.1N Not Sectorised. In the non-financial accounts an additional residual sector is used to report taxes and subsidies on products (D.21, D.31) in the Generation of Income Account (Account 1.2) as it is not possible to allocate these amounts to Institutional Sectors. In addition, throughout these accounts S.1N is used to report the amounts that appear as the statistical discrepancy in the National Income and Expenditure GDP accounts, arising from the use of two independent estimates of GDP (from the Income and Expenditure approaches). In the Annual National Accounts NIE tables 3 and 5, the official estimate of GDP is reported as the average of the two measures, and the discrepancy is therefore displayed as half the difference between the two independent estimates (and thus with different signs in the two tables). The discrepancy is projected forward on a quarterly basis in line with the trends in the Expenditure components and is presented in Table 2 of the Quarterly National Accounts. In the Quarterly Sector Accounts it appears in Gross Domestic Product, the opening item in the Generation of Income Account and is then carried through successive accounts via the balancing item.

Description of Detailed Non-Financial Accounts

Sector Accounts present a coherent overview of all economic processes and the roles played by the various sectors. Each economic process is described in a separate account. The accounts describe successively: generation of income, primary and secondary income distribution, final consumption, redistribution by means of capital transfers, and capital formation. Note that the Production Account (1.1) from the Annual Accounts is not included in these quarterly accounts as the data is not available on a quarterly basis. The accounts record economic transactions, distinguishing between uses and resources (e.g. the resources side of the transaction category Interest (D.41) records the amounts of interest receivable by the different sectors of the economy and the uses side shows interest payable) with a special item to balance the two sides of each account. By passing on the balancing item from one account to the next a connection is created between successive accounts.

The accounts are compiled for the total economy and include accounts for separate domestic sectors and the Rest of World sector. In this way the sector accounts describe:

  • for each economic process the role of each sector, for instance General Government in income redistribution and Financial Corporations in financing.
  • for each sector all economic transactions and their relation with other domestic sectors and the Rest of World.

The successive accounts are explained in more detail below. The transactions in each account are described more fully in the Statistics Explained section of our website.

Current Accounts

1.1 Production Account

This account is not presented in the Quarterly Non-Financial Accounts as quarterly data is not available.

1.2 Generation of Income Account

This account displays the transactions through which Gross Domestic Product at market prices is distributed to labour (compensation of employees), capital (operating surplus) and government (the balance of taxes and subsidies on production). The balancing item for the Household and NPISH sector in this account is called mixed income, because apart from operating surplus it also contains compensation for work by self-employed persons and their family members. Gross Operating Surplus/Gross Mixed Income (B.2g/B.3g) is the balancing item for the entire account.

1.3 Allocation of Primary Income Account

This account records, as resources, the income from direct participation in the production process, as well as property income received in exchange for the use of land, financial resources and other intangible assets. In addition, this account records the taxes on production and imports received by the government. On the uses side, property income (including interest, dividends, reinvested earnings and land rent) is recorded as well as the subsidies paid by the government.

On this account the interest paid and received are recorded excluding imputed bank services (financial intermediation services indirectly measured - FISIM). In the national accounts insurance technical reserves are seen as a liability of insurance enterprises and pension funds to policyholders. Therefore, the receipts from investing these reserves are recorded as payments from insurance enterprises and pension funds to households, under Other Investment Income (D.44). The balancing item of this account for each sector is Gross National Income (B.5g). The Primary Income for the total economy is the National Income.

1.4 Memorandum-Entrepreneurial Income Account

This account is not presented in the Quarterly series.

1.5 Secondary Distribution of Income Account

The Secondary Distribution of Income Account shows how primary income is redistributed by means of current taxes on income and wealth, social contributions (including contributions to pension schemes), social benefits (including pension benefits) and other current transfers. The balancing item of this account is Gross Disposable Income (B.6g). For the consuming sectors (Households, NPISH and General Government) this item is passed on to Use of Disposable Income Account (1.6). For the other sectors the disposable income is generally equal to saving. This is then passed on to the Change in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers Account (1.8).

1.6 Use of Disposable Income Account

This account shows the element of disposable income that is spent on final consumption and also the element that is saved. As mentioned above, final consumption only exists for Households, NPISH and General Government. The net equity of Households in pension funds is seen as a financial asset that belongs to Households. Changes in these reserves need to be included in the saving of Households. However, contributions to pension schemes and pension benefits have already been recorded on the Secondary Distribution of Income Account (1.5) as social contributions and social benefits. Therefore, an adjustment is needed in the saving of Households to include the change in pension funds reserves on which they have a definite claim. This adjustment is called Adjustment for the Change in Pension Entitlements (D.8). There is no need for a similar adjustment concerning life insurance because life insurance premiums and benefits are not recorded as current transactions. The balancing item for this account is Gross Saving (B.8g).

1.7 External Account

This account records the summarised transactions of the Rest of World Sector (S.2), including on the uses side exports of goods and services, primary incomes and current transfers receivable. The resources side of this account includes imports of goods and services together with primary incomes and transfers payable. The balancing item is Current External Balance (B.12), which records the balance on current accounts with the Rest of World.

Capital Accounts

1.8 Change in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers

On this account the capital transfers are recorded and combined with gross saving and the current external balance. The resulting balancing item is Changes in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers (B.10.1).

1.9 Acquisition of Non-Financial Assets Account

On this account, Gross Fixed Capital Formation (P.51), Changes in Inventories (P.52) and Acquisitions less Disposals of Valuables and Non-Produced Non-Financial Assets (N.P.) are recorded among the uses. The decline in the value of fixed capital goods caused by consumption of fixed capital goods is recorded among the resources (P.51c). The balancing item is B.9, Net Lending (shown as a positive number) or Borrowing (shown as a negative). It shows the amount a sector can invest, or has to borrow, as a result of its current and capital transactions.

Seasonal Adjustment

Seasonal adjustment is conducted using the direct seasonal adjustment approach. Under this approach, each individual time series is independently adjusted, i.e. aggregate series are adjusted without reference to the component series.

As part of the seasonal adjustment process, ARIMA models are identified for each series based on unadjusted data spanning Q1 1999 to the first quarter of this year. These models are then applied to the entire series in the next three quarters. Seasonal factors and the parameters of the ARIMA models are updated each quarter.

The adjustments are completed by applying the X-13-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau to the unadjusted data. This methodology estimates seasonal factors while also taking into consideration factors that impact on the quality of the seasonal adjustment such as, for example:

  • calendar effects, e.g. the timing of Easter
  • outliers, temporary changes and level shifts in the series

Seasonal adjustment is carried out using JDemetra+.

Derived Seasonally Adjusted Household Saving Ratio

Seasonally adjusted estimates of Household Saving are compiled using the indirect seasonal adjustment approach. Under this approach the two main aggregates, Household Disposable Income (B.6g + D.8) and Final Consumption Expenditure of Households (P.3), are independently adjusted. The derived saving is the difference between the two adjusted series of Household Disposable Income and Final Expenditure of Households. This method for estimating the seasonally adjusted value for a small net residual of two large aggregates, such as Household Saving, is considered to be a more appropriate estimation procedure.

The use of these saving either for financial investment or debt reduction is not recorded in these accounts but is recorded in the financial account (see Quarterly Financial Accounts published by the Central Bank of Ireland and  for annual integrated financial and non financial accounts).