Revision of the quarterly national accounts

The CZSO published revised quarterly national accounts together with the data for 2012 Q3. The non-seasonally adjusted historical series for GDP and its components have been revised as from 2009 and the seasonally adjusted series have changed over the entire available time series as from 1995. Within the GDP growth structure, household consumption, fixed investment and in 2012 also inventories have increased. This was offset by a lower contribution of net exports. This box focuses on describing the revision of household consumption and investment.

The household consumption deflator has been revised substantially (see Chart 1). Its annual growth rate over the last six quarters has been shifted 1.3 percentage points lower on average. The consumption deflator has therefore deviated downwards from the consumer price index, whereas before the revision the two variables showed similar dynamics. According to the CZSO, 1 percentage point of the 1.3 percentage point difference between the two indicators in 2011 was due to rent reassessment, of which 0.8 percentage point was imputed rent. For the purposes of the consumer price index, imputed rent is derived from prices of construction work and construction material inputs, while the consumption deflator in the annual national accounts is derived from external surveys of supply rents in 140 towns and 114 locations in Prague, Brno and Ostrava; these data are then adjusted using transaction price data from estate agencies.

Chart 1 (BOX)  Revisions of consumer deflator
The growth rate of the household consumption deflator is significantly lower after the revision
(annual percentage changes; seasonally adjusted)

Real private consumption has been revised upwards by 0.8 percentage point on average in 2009–2011, offset mainly by a lower contribution of net exports. A revision of nominal consumption together with a revision of nominal disposable income (which was affected most of all by changes to current taxes and social benefits) has been consistently incorporated into a revision of the household saving rate. The seasonally adjusted saving rate in early 2012 has been revised sharply upwards by around 3 percentage points (see Chart 2). The uncertainty associated with the evolution of consumption and the household saving rate is described in two sensitivity scenarios in section II.4.

Chart 2 (BOX)  Revisions of households' saving rate
The saving rate in early 2012 has been revised by around 3 percentage points
(in % of gross disposable income; seasonally adjusted)

Both components of gross capital formation (change in inventories and fixed investment) have been revised. The revision has increased the annual growth rate of fixed investment by 0.5 percentage point and that of total investment by 0.7 percentage point on average in 2009–2011 (see Chart 3). With regard to the breakdown by kind, the rise in fixed investment is due largely to other machinery and equipment in 2010 and other buildings and structures in 2011. From the sectoral perspective, the biggest contributors were households in 2009 (although their contributions in the next two years are negative), nonfinancial institutions in 2010 and financial institutions in 2011.

Chart 3 (BOX)  Revisions of gross capital formation
Investment activity is falling at a slower pace after the revision
(annual percentage changes; seasonally adjusted)

Overall, this revision of the quarterly national accounts has affected the initial state of the forecast in the direction of lower estimated growth in nominal marginal costs in the consumer goods sector and a less negative path of the gap in profit mark-ups.