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F.  Integrated economic statistics

1.25.    At its thirty-seventh session, in 2006, the Statistical Commission recommended an integrated approach for national economic statistics programmes to ensure the efficiency of the statistical process and increase the consistency and coherence of economic statistics.[1] The Commission subsequently developed Guidelines for Integrated Economic Statistics,[2] to enhance the quality and analytical value of short-term, annual and benchmark economic statistics and macroeconomic statistics. [3] 

1.26.    The recommendations in Guidelines for Integrated Economic Statistics are based on internationally adopted standards, including the 2008 SNA, BPM6 and specialized technical manuals on subjects such as the measurement of prices, sectoral and business statistics and FDI. The methodological standards, recommendations and emphasis on policy-relevant data in those manuals formed the basis for the organizing principles and detailed practices set forth in Guidelines for Integrated Economic Statistics.[4] The main characteristics of that integrated approach are described in box 1.4.

Box 1.4

Integrated approach to economic statistics

 Guidelines for Integrated Economic Statistics identifies the following features of an integrated approach:

(a)   Common concepts, definitions and classifications The use of harmonized terminology, definitions, concepts, standards and classifications is necessary in a national statistical system so that the various data collections are comparable and can be related to one another;

(b)   Business registers and frames Business registers play an important role in integrated economic statistics by providing a central sampling frame for all business surveys;

(c)   Standardization of surveys Integration should be comprehensive and encompass survey design, sample frame and questionnaire design;

(d)   Administrative data Administrative source data can be integrated for statistical purposes; concepts must be matched with statistical records. The advantage of using administrative records and various government data is that it promotes a more efficient use of data collections, and reduces the burden of the respondents;

(e)   Data editing, linkage and integration Transparency and documentation of the editing process are indispensable for ensuring that the resulting data can be used by various statistical domains and will be widely accepted and understood by users;

(f)   Dissemination and communication Integration may facilitate the provision of user-friendly presentations of data and explanations of concepts, as well as ensure a consistent format across publications, electronic sources and websites. 


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[1] Based on the report of the Secretary-General on integrated economic statistics (E/CN.3/2006/5). 

[2] Guidelines on Integrated Economic Statistics, Studies in Methods, Series F, No. 108 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.XVII.7). Available from 

[3] Ibid. 

[4] Ibid.