National accounts are designed to provide a comprehensive picture of the many and complex financial transactions which take place in a society within a given period.


The production can be paid to employees and owners of businesses and be used for maintenance and enhancement of capital assets.


The incomes can be used for public and private consumption. The portion of income which is not consumed is saved. The savings of a society cover investments in e.g. machinery and buildings.


To the extent that the savings can not cover these investments, society has a financing need which may be met by borrowing abroad. This is reflected in a deficit on the current items of the national accounts.


Are savings conversely greater than investments, society has a placement need in relation to the rest of the world. This is reflected in a surplus on the current items of the national accounts.


In this way, the national accounts put figures on the economic cycle; from production over income to consumption, saving, and borrowing / placement abroad.


National accounts are based on internationally agreed guidelines developed by the international coordinating authorities for statistics, i.e. the EU, the UN, the IMF (the International Monetary Fund), OECD and the World Bank. Thereby data can be better likened over time and between countries.


Other sections show how figures from the national accounts can be used to analyse the economic development and to compare the economy of Greenland with other economies in the world. The concepts of statistics may be somewhat inaccessible. In the Concepts and Methods, section these concepts are explained by a simple example.