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E.6.  Other FATS variables

15.85.        Other FATS variables may, for certain countries, hold equal or even greater importance than some of the priority variables, as described in MSITS 2010. The additional variables provided in MSITS 2010 are the following: assets,[1] compensation of employees, net worth, net operating surplus, gross fixed capital formation, taxes on income, research and development expenditures[2] and purchases of goods and services. For some of those variables, data are already being compiled by some countries in their business statistics or national accounts, etc. The definitions of those variables, which are provided in MSITS 2010, paragraph 4.65, are drawn from the 2008 SNA, which may be consulted for additional information.

15.86.        Data are usually derived directly from collected information, with necessary adjustments to the statistical process. This means that the production of such data necessarily entails an increase in the reporting burden for respondents (except for inward FATS, if data are derived from existing data derived from business statistics). Only one of the additional variables listed in MSITS 2010—purchases of goods and services (intermediate consumption)—can be directly derived from the basic measures recommended for compilation. It can be derived from gross output and gross value added if intermediate consumption cannot be collected directly.[3]

15.87.        The list of additional variables and their definitions will also depend on those used in the compilation of national business statistics and national accounts.  In general, the practice is to compile most of those additional items for inward FATS rather than outward, at least in the first stages of development of the framework at the national level. The choice for compiling additional variables will depend on the priorities and feasibilities in a given country. If the data for inward FATS are derived from the source used for structural business statistics, then the list of variables will most likely be driven by what is included in it. Countries could also provide variables that are not listed in MSITS 2010 or in other international guidelines, but that are of interest in that country.


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[1] Often referred to as the "balance sheet total." OECD was at the time of writing working on the issue of linking (real) economic variables from FATS with financial variables from balance sheets and income accounts.

[2] That variable is important as FDI is deemed to be a source of technology transfer. Note that HEGI also suggests "technology payments and receipts." Related information on research and development definitions, etc., can be found in the Frascati Manual.

[3] As noted previously, it is also linked to the imports variable.