The Friends of the Chair reached the following conclusions:a
(a) The integration of economic statistics is about statistical reconciliation, that is, ensuring that the messages that statistics deliver are consistent and coherent. Reconciliation covers primary economic statistics and macroeconomic accounts, short-and long-term economic statistics, and national and international economic statistics. In essence, it involves dealing with conceptual, statistical production and institutional issues. Human resources issues (increasing the awareness of statistical agencies’ staff concerning the impact of their work on the overall statistical system) and information technology issues (adopting common technology) also play a role and must be considered in that context;
(b) The integration of economic statistics is mainly driven by users’ demand for data consistency and coherence;
(c) It is neither possible nor desirable to propagate one single and detailed implementing approach towards integrated economic statistics because national statistical systems are different. There are, however, some general guiding principles;
(d) Institutional arrangements at both the national and international levels are important for the management of integrated economic statistics and should be part of the corresponding reform programmes.
a See E/CN.3/2008/6.
11.4. Integrated approach for international merchandise trade statistics. Reconciliation of data from customs and non-customs sources, and reconciliation of results with related statistics, are important aspects of an integrated approach to foreign trade statistics. An integrated approach to foreign trade statistics means in particular that their compilation is, to the largest extent possible, integrated and harmonized with the compilation of all other basic economic and business statistics. Despite their long history of constituting a separate and distinct statistical domain and their reliance (in most countries) on custom records as their main data source, foreign trade statistics should be seen as an integral part of business statistics in respect of compilation and dissemination, in order that their full potential as a main source of information on globalization may be realized.