Methods used to compile quarterly European accounts
Eurostat estimates the quarterly EU accounts from annual EU accounts using Member States quarterly information as available. The main reason for this approach is the strong demand for timely quarterly accounts. Business cycle analysis requires quarterly results for the EU and in particular the euro area much earlier than the arrival of data for the last of Member States. Another reason is that quarterly accounts add another dimension to coherence requirements, i.e. coherence between quarterly and annual results.
For more information on general issues in quarterly accounts, quarterly estimation procedure, quarterly accounts volume measures and some specific issues in quarterly accounts please see the attached document (under sections: 3.; 3.1 - 3.4 of the document).
The attached file provides all vintages of quarter-on-quarter growth rates and year-on-year growth rates for the Euro area 12 (EA12) seasonally and working day adjusted volume GDP as published by Eurostat since May 2003.
Member states' data are revised according to national schedules, and revisions are applied to Eurostat’s online database as soon as they become available to Eurostat.
The EU annual national accounts aggregates are subject to the following revision policy: Aggregates are updated with every regular release of quarterly national accounts. Dates for those are published in Eurostat’s release calendar. Currently, there are eight regular releases each year, and hence eight updates of annual EU accounts. In between Eurostat releases, Member States may revise their figures; Eurostat publishes these revised Member States' accounts but does not recalculate the EU accounts until the next scheduled EU release. Geographical coherence will hence be lost for a brief period. In turn, a certain stability of annual aggregates is assured, and annual and quarterly EU aggregates will by default be coherent.
Quarterly EU accounts are released according to the following revision policy: Two releases are published each quarter: The first at 45 days is a flash estimate and consists of GDP growth for the latest quarter only. No other series are revised, nor is GDP growth for previous quarters. The flash is followed by a second regular release at around 65 days, covering GDP and its basic breakdowns. Domestic employment is released at around 75 days. Complete consistency of the breakdowns of quarterly national accounts is only established with this t+75 release. All EU quarterly and annual accounts series for all reference periods are open to revision with this combined t+65/t+75 release. The third regular release is scheduled at around 100 days after the end of the quarter, adding some more detailed breakdowns for the new quarter, and again all quarterly and annual series are opened to revision. The third regular release at t+100 is only a database release.