These statistics represent the main measures of economic activity. They include statistics from the national accounts (main aggregates and selected detailed breakdowns) describing the output and demand side of the economy, as well as the GDP that measures the total economic activity taking place on an economic territory.

In addition, short-term and structural aspects of the economy are also monitored with conjunctural and structural statistics – which can also be found here.

The Main aggregates in the national accounts (MNA dataset) include gross domestic product (GDP), value added by main economic activity, main expenditure components and aggregated income statistics. These data are collected and disseminated by the European Commission (Eurostat) and the national statistical authorities.

The MNA dataset also includes additional indicators calculated by the ECB such as implicit GDP deflators, contributions to growth, unit labour costs and its components (compensation per employee and labour productivity), as well as business investment. Data for the euro area / EU and the European countries are available.

Gross domestic product (GDP) and its components - value added by economic activity, expenditure and income statistics - are part of the ESA 2010 annual and quarterly national accounts produced by the European Commission (Eurostat) and national statistical authorities. Euro area results are estimated using information for the individual countries.

GDP is the value of an economy’s total output of goods and services less intermediate consumption, plus net taxes on products and imports. GDP can be also broken down by expenditure or income components. The main expenditure aggregates that make up GDP are household final consumption, government final consumption, gross fixed capital formation, changes in inventories, and imports and exports of goods and services (including intra-euro area trade) while the income components include gross operating surplus and mixed income, compensation of employees, taxes on production and imports, and subsidies.

The GDP deflators and unit labour costs and its components (compensation per employee and labour productivity) are calculated by the ECB based on the ESA 2010 national accounts data.

The GDP deflators are the ratios of the series in current prices and volume series, where the current price series for the countries are adjusted for national exchange rate movements before joining the euro area.

Unit labour costs are a measure of total labour costs per unit of output calculated as the ratio of compensation per employee to labour productivity (defined as GDP per person employed).

Labour productivity reflects the output that can be produced with a given input of labour. It can be measured in several ways, but is commonly measured as GDP divided by either total employment (by people in employment, i.e. including both employees and self-employed) or total hours worked. The headline ECB measure calculates labour productivity as GDP divided by persons in employment.

Compensation per employee is the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, that is payable by employers to employees in return for work, i.e. gross wages and salaries, as well as bonuses, overtime payments and employers’ social security contributions, divided by the total number of employees.

For more information refer to ESA2010 manual and ESA2010 Transmission Program (Table 1).

Employment and population have traditionally been considered auxiliary variables in national accounts, aimed to calculate ratios like value added, output, or labour costs per inhabitant or per employed person. Employment however has gained importance and nowadays it is an endogenous variable in the national accounts framework. Quarterly employment also stands now as a key short term economic indicator. National accounts, however, do not provide information on social or gender aspects of employment. The classical and most reliable source for this information is the Labour Force Survey.

The ESA 2010 distinguishes two employment concepts depending on the geographical coverage: resident persons in employment (i.e. the national scope of employment) and employment in resident production units irrespective of the place of residence of the employed person (i.e. domestic scope).

The ESA 2010 recognises several employment measures: persons, hours worked and jobs. Presented here are mainly employment data measured in persons and in hours worked.

These data were formerly available as part of the MNA (National Accounts Main Aggregates) data set but then they were moved to a new data set – ENA. While the first dimension of the series keys change to ENA, the remainder of the series keys remain unchanged.

The IDCM dataset covers publicly available selected National Accounts data (GDP and main aggregates, population and employment) as published by Eurostat, IMF, OECD and the UN.

It is a results of data exchange materialized by an initiative of International Data Cooperation (IDC) under the Inter-Agency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics (IAG) chaired by the IMF. The aim is to develop a set of commonly shared principles and working arrangements for data cooperation that could be implemented by the participating International Organisations. (link)

The key concepts captured by the national accounts main aggregates datasets cover the following indicators:

a. Gross domestic product

Main indicators from Output, Expenditure and Income approaches.

Note: GDP income components and other income measures are only available at current prices. In some cases due to the national data availability there might be some gaps or incomplete presentation of the data if comparing more advanced and less advanced economies.

b. Population and employment

While not strictly national accounts aggregates, these variables are widely used in a national accounts context. Employment and its components are important economic indicators in their own right, and they serve in the construction of derived indicators, such as per capita or per persons employed, allowing country comparisons.

Total population of a country, on a given date, consists of all persons, national or foreign, who are permanently settled in the economic territory of the country, even if they are temporarily absent from it. A person who is staying, or intends to stay, on the economic territory of the country for a period of one year or more is regarded as permanently settled there. By definition, the total population excludes foreign students during their study in a country and members of foreign armed forces stationed in a country. The definition of population in national accounts differs from the present, or de facto, population, which consists of persons actually present on the geographic territory of a country at a given date. It also differs from the registered population.

Employment covers all persons engaged in productive activity that falls within the production boundary of the national accounts. Persons in employment are employees or self-employed persons. Persons holding more than one job are classified as employees or self-employed according to their main job.

Industrial and service producer price indices, industrial production, industrial new orders, industrial turnover, service turnover and retail sales data are published by the European Commission (Eurostat). Euro area results are obtained by aggregating data for individual countries compiled by national statistical authorities. They are broken down following the classification of economic activities in the EU (NACE) and by the Main Industrial Groupings (MIGS) derived from it.

Industrial producer prices reflect the ex-factory-gate prices (transportation costs are not included) of all products sold by industry excluding construction on the domestic markets of the euro area countries, excluding imports. They include indirect taxes except VAT and other deductible taxes. Service producer price indices and construction output price indices follow the same concept, reflecting the development of the prices finally received by the service providers and construction companies.

Industrial production reflects the volume growth of value added of the industries concerned.

Industrial new orders measure the orders received during the reference period and cover industries working mainly on the basis of orders – in particular textile, pulp and paper, chemical, metal, capital goods and durable consumer goods industries. The data are calculated on the basis of current prices. The legal obligation for the EU members to compile such indices ceased in 2012. Since then, the ECB had published an estimate for euro area new orders, based on actual data for new orders for a limited set of countries still producing these indicators, survey data and turnover data. With an ever declining number of countries providing new orders data, leaving only three of them in mid-2021, the ECB stopped producing the estimate with publication of September 2021 data.

Indices for turnover in industry, services and for the retail trade measure the turnover, including all duties and taxes with the exception of VAT, invoiced during the reference period. Retail trade turnover covers all retail trade excluding sales of motor vehicles and motorcycles, and except repairs.

Unemployment rates published by the European Commission (Eurostat) and conform to International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines. They refer to persons actively seeking work as a share of the labour force, using harmonised criteria and definitions. Please note that since December 2020 the dataset is published under the Labour Force Survey Indicators (LFSI) naming convention. Please refer to the mapping between discontinued STS series and the LFSI codes for more information.

The labour cost indices are published by the European Commission (Eurostat) and national statistical authorities and measure the changes in labour costs per hour worked in industry (including construction) and market services. A breakdown of hourly labour costs for the euro area is available by labour cost component (wages and salaries, other labour costs) and by economic activity (NACE sections).

The new passenger cars data for euro area are seasonally and working day adjusted by the ECB based on data compiled by ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers Association). New passenger car registrations cover registrations of both private and commercial passenger cars.

Link to the NACE Rev2 detailed structure: PDF