Chile: Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF)

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Chile’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework. The assessment reveals that Chile’s macroeconomic statistics are timely, generally of high quality, and adequate to conduct effective surveillance. There is a high degree of quality awareness among Chile’s statistical managers and a reputation of integrity of the statistical institutions and processes among data users. However, there is scope for improvement in some areas.

Abstract

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Chile’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework. The assessment reveals that Chile’s macroeconomic statistics are timely, generally of high quality, and adequate to conduct effective surveillance. There is a high degree of quality awareness among Chile’s statistical managers and a reputation of integrity of the statistical institutions and processes among data users. However, there is scope for improvement in some areas.

Detailed Assessment Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF)

The following detailed information on indicators of statistical practices in the areas of the national accounts, prices, government finance, money and banking, and balance of payments statistics was gathered from publicly available documents and information provided by the Chilean officials. This information, which is organized along the lines of the generic DQAF (see Appendix II), was used to prepare the summary assessment of data quality elements, based on a four-part scale of observance, shown in Chile’s Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module.

I. National Accounts

0. Prerequisites of quality

0.1 Legal and institutional environment

0.1.1 The responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating the statistics is clearly specified

Chile’s national accounts are compiled and disseminated by the Central Bank of Chile (CBCH). The Constitutional Law of the CBCH (Law No. 18840 published in the official gazette on October 10, 1989) stipulates in its Article 53 that “the Bank shall compile and publish, in a timely manner, the country’s principal macroeconomic statistics, including monetary, foreign exchange, balance of payments statistics, and national accounts.”1

In addition, the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of these statistics are established by decisions of the CBCH’s Board of Directors.2 These agreements are published in the official gazette.

Article 1° of the Law of the National Statistics Institute (NSI) (No. 17.374 of October 15, 1970) establishes that the NSI is the institution in charge of the statistics and official censuses of the country. Article 2° states the following as the main functions of the NSI:

“a) Perform the process of collection, technical elaboration, analysis and publication of official statistics.

b) Study the coordination of the collection, classification and publication of the statistics compiled by fiscal and semi-fiscal entities of the State.

c) Conduct the official censuses according to international recommendations.

d) Conduct surveys periodically to update the base of the different indicators, in particular of the cost of living …

l) Prepare a register of individuals and juridical agents that constitute “Source of Statistical Information…

n) Submit annually the National Plan of Statistical Collection for the approval of the President of the Republic. The supreme decree that approves the plan will indicate the obligations of the public and private entities related to the information and the statistics that they shall provide, compile and publish in the Official Diary.”

Hence, the NSI has the responsibility of conducting censuses and surveys for collecting source data for national accounts (NA) purposes, although this responsibility is not clearly specified as only the cost of living is specifically mentioned in the NSI’s law. Given the current budgetary and human resource constraints of the NSI, the CBCH finances the collection of source data or specific breakdowns that are not part of the customary production of the NSI. The NSI is planning to update its legal framework and has already prepared a draft of the new NSI’s law.

Recommendation: In the framework of the revision of the NSI’s law, clarify its responsibility for collecting source data for the compilation of national accounts.

The unit compiling the NA is the National Accounts Department (NAD) of the Research and Statistical Information Management Office (GIIE) of the CBCH.3 The NAD’s organization is flexible and currently consists of six working groups that handle procedures related to the compilation of production, goods and services accounts, and institutional accounts.

Five groups compile and reconcile the production and goods and services accounts. Three of these groups compile the sectoral production accounts for all the time series: benchmark, annual, quarterly, and the Monthly Index of Economic Activity of Chile (IMACEC). The fourth group reconciles the annual supply-and-use table. The fifth group reconciles the quarterly supply-and-use table, prepares the IMACEC, and examines some emerging issues as statistical procedures to ensure internal and temporal consistency. The sixth group compiles and reconciles the annual institutional accounts and regional gross domestic product (GDP).

The fact that five groups handle one process and one group handles the other process is due in part to varying levels of standardization and the numerous sources used in compiling the production and goods and services accounts as compared to the institutional accounts. An additional factor is that in the first case various time series with different periodicity are processed while the institutional accounts are only prepared annually.

The flexibility of the organization makes it possible to handle, with only relatively small organizational changes, the demands imposed on the organization when the benchmark compilation is produced. This increases professional staff time needed by practically 50 percent for a two-year period in comparison with the normal schedule.

0.1.2 Data sharing and coordination among data-producing agencies are adequate

The major producer of source data for NA purposes is the NSI. This involves sectoral economic surveys on production, household surveys, and surveys on prices, compensation of employees, and employment. However, the CBCH conducts several complementary surveys. The flow of information from the NSI to the CBCH is formally regulated as follows:

  • For the annual, quarterly, and monthly follow-up compilations, a framework agreement was established (1994) and its specific content is updated annually.

  • For the benchmark compilations, there is another framework agreement (2003) that defines the specific studies to be conducted by the NSI.

  • Service delivery contracts are also established for compiling other information with no specific periodicity, such as the study of purchasing power parities (2004).

The agreements (conventions) and contracts establish the quality and timeliness terms that the products provided by the NSI must satisfy.4 The CBCH finances all products that are not part of the customary production of the NSI, increases in coverage, or specific breakdowns that the NSI does not publish. To ensure appropriate monitoring of agreements and contracts there are ongoing meetings between the NSI and the CBCH in the context of the Permanent Committee (quarterly meetings) and the Coordination Committee (monthly meetings). There is also an Interministerial Committee integrated by the Director of the NSI, the President of the CBCH, and the Minister of Finance. In recent years, there have been significant efforts to improve procedures for processing source data at the NSI. The results have been mixed, allowing for significant improvements in timeliness but gradual improvements in data validation and quality of the basic data due to lack of resources at the NSI.

The administrative records used to prepare the NA are basically those on foreign trade (customs records) from the National Customs Service (NCS) and tax records (income and value-added taxes) from the Internal Tax Service (ITS). Access to such records is expeditious and without confidentiality restrictions on customs records. In contrast, tax records are available on an anonymous and aggregate basis based on classifiers established by the NAD owing to the confidentiality of individual records. Data sharing in these cases is agreed through technical meetings and recorded in minutes.

The quality and coverage of administrative records is good and appropriate filters have been developed for using these records in the various national accounts compilations.

Recommendations:

- Request data on annual sales and employment by enterprise to the ITS for updating the business register regularly and grossing-up sample data as the precepts on “Statistical Secret” in the NSI’s law, as well as on confidentiality in the CBCH’s law to protect individual records.

- Conduct simplified economic census (precensus) every five years to update sampling frames.

Interagency cooperation among statistics producing agencies has recently improved and is encouraged by the work of the National Statistics Commission (CNE)5 of the National Statistics System (NSS). The NSS is led by the NSI and includes representatives of the CBCH, the National Office of Planning, the Foment/Development Corporation, the Budget Directorate (DIPRES) of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), and representatives of the academia, producers’ association, and labor unions. The representative of the labor unions has not attended most of the CNE’s meetings.

The main functions of the CNE are the following:

13. “Approve the annual National Plan of Statistical Collection before presenting it to the President of Chile;

14. Propose to the NSI the basic orientations of the collection and elaboration process of the statistics necessary for the formulation, execution, and monitoring of the National Economic and Social Development Plan…” (Law No. 17,374 of the NSI of October 15, 1970).

Given its natural concern for the consistency of various statistics, the NAD has made a significant contribution to the CNE:

  • By developing the initial version of a business register/directory of enterprises (2002) and then turning it over to the NSI for management and development (2006); and

  • Establishing a system of classifiers of products, activities, and agents to be used by the various statistics producing institutions. Recent updates are centralized by an Inter-Agency Nomenclature Committee.

However, there are still some coordination and communication issues among statistical agencies as well as some duplication of effort in the collection of source data, in particular on mining and employment.

Recommendation: Enhance coordination among statistical agencies through closer contacts and regular meetings of technical staff to discuss specific data requirements at a detailed level, reduce respondent burden, improve timeliness of source data, use the collected data in all their potential, and avoid duplication of effort in the collection of source data.

0.1.3 Individual reporters’ data are to be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only

The confidentiality of data reported by individual persons and entities is guaranteed under Article 66 of the Law of the CBCH.6 It is also guaranteed by the Manual of Ethics Code7 and the CBCH’s By-laws8 that prohibit officials from divulging confidential information as well as information that is pending publication. In addition, the CBCH employment contract establishes the need to “maintain the confidentiality of situations and matters that are, directly or indirectly, related to the Bank and that they may come to know by virtue of their position or functions.” In fact, the individual employment contract establishes this confidentiality as an essential duty and violation of that duty constitutes reasonable grounds for termination of employment.

In addition, Article 29 of the NSI’s law states that the NSI, the fiscal and semi-fiscal entities, public enterprises, and each one of their respective civil employees, shall not disclose the facts that are referred to people or determined entities that they have taken knowledge in the performance of their duties. The strict observance of these precepts constitutes the “Statistical Secret.” If any person subject to this obligation violates it, he/she will incur in a criminal act and will be punished with incarceration by Article 247 of the Criminal Code. Article 30 of the NSI’s law establishes that individual statistical data shall not be published or spread unless the person or organization authorizes their disclosure.

The NSI’s questionnaires include a section that reads: “Law No. 17,374, Art 20. All Chilean individuals and entities and residents or individuals in transit are obliged to provide data or information of statistical character. Art. 29. The NSI and each of its employees shall not disclose the information related to individuals or entities.”

Similarly, the CBCH’s surveys enclose a letter that informs respondents of the confidentiality of the data provided and that they will be used to calculate sectoral statistical indicators at an aggregated level. The CBCH’s surveys are mainly filled out through the Internet by using individual passwords that are only known by respondents.

The CBCH data-processing platform has a hierarchical system of privileges ensuring protected access to information sources and to the processes used by the compilers of NA.

The Department of Operations and Technology of the CBCH has implemented a number of security measures to guard against unauthorized access to its statistical databases.

All resources of the internal net have to be protected by passwords or established access lists. The CBCH intranet can only be accessed with an authorized user’s name and password, and different levels of access (user profiles) have been established for the various databases through the Operating System Windows XP. There is also an external firewall to prohibit access to the CBCH intranet and databases, an antispam module, and an antivirus. The NA databases are administered by the NAD of the CBCH.

There is also an encrypted mail sharing system for confidential and/or highly sensitive information. Finally, the CBCH has a Manual of Policies on Informatics Security (March 2003),9 which establishes policies on “clean desks” and the use of the Internet and e-mail, norms for the treatment of confidential and highly sensitive information, and mechanical destruction of hard-copy information. Questionnaires, once processed, are archived in the storeroom of the CBCH and are destroyed after five years, upon request.

0.1.4 Statistical reporting is ensured through legal mandate and/or measures to encourage response

The CBCH is authorized under Article 53 of its law to obtain information from public institutions for compiling the NA.10 Access to the administrative records of the aforementioned, the NCS, the ITS, and the NSI falls within this framework.

Although there are no legal means empowering the CBCH to require private institutions to respond to data requests for compiling the NA,11 there is broad cooperation with the CBCH among private agents. The response rate of information requested daily by the CBCH through the International Exchanges and Statistical Compilation Management Office is reasonable and there are only a few cases where the failure to respond is based on the absence of legal means for requesting information (see table response rates). This may be a reflection of the high regard that the country’s private agents have for the CBCH. However, the response rate to the fishing and services surveys is relatively low, as seen in the table below.

Response Rate to CBCH’s Surveys for 2006

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* Weighted by output of each enterprise of the sample

Recommendation: Strengthen the legal framework of the CBCH to ensure its legal mandate to request data to the nonfinancial private sector.

Instruments to collect source data were designed in the past to reduce respondent burden, and an attempt is made to take into account the time constraints of the respondent. However, the level of detail of some surveys needs to be adapted to the two types of compilations, benchmark years and annual follow-up compilation. Although the timeliness of some NSI surveys has recently improved, some surveys are too detailed and the data collected are not used in all their potential due to timeliness or quality/confidence issues.

0.2 Resources

0.2.1 Staff, facilities, computing resources, and financing are commensurate with statistical programs

Staff, computing resources, physical infrastructure, and funding are adequate at the CBCH for compiling the NA.

The NAD of the CBCH has a staff of 30 professionals,12 one third of whom have been compiling the NA for 10 or more years, while the rest have been doing so for no more than five years on average. They are all professionals, primarily economists, with a lesser number of statisticians. Approximately one-third of them have post-graduate degrees at either the masters or doctoral level.

The NAD develops orientation courses for new professionals and training workshops on statistical and accounting methods. It also sends staff to short-term seminars (for example to the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA), and the International Foundation of Administration and Public Policies for Ibero-America (FIIAPP-Madrid)), and medium-term courses (IMF). However, the major contribution to training has been “on-the-job” training.

In recent years, preference has been given to visits to centers with excellent NA credentials (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), StatCan (Statistics Canada), U.K. Organization of National Statistics (ONS), United National Statistical Division (UNSD), and Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat)), participation in seminars at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and long-term internships with national accounts units in OECD countries (National Statistics Institute (INE) of Spain and StatCan). This training program has been supplemented by sending professional staff to obtain masters’ degrees in statistical methods and techniques (for example, to Columbia University in the U.S. and the University of Nottingham in the U.K.).

Compensation levels and structure are competitive with the market, particularly if nonmonetary benefits are included. All staff were reclassified to make salary mobility more flexible. The salary scale is currently being adapted to goals and to provide performance bonuses for achieving such goals.

The computing resources available for compiling the NA are adequate and updated frequently to maintain the highest technological standards. Staff desktop computers are at least a Pentium 4HT, with networked Windows XP Operating System. The NAD has color printers and photocopiers, and black and white printers, and copiers for heavy-duty work, as well as portable computers and overhead projectors. In addition to Microsoft Office software (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access), there are more analytical tools like eViews, MatLab, and SAS. A plan is also being implemented to incorporate FAME/SunGard as the database for time series.

The platform of the surveys’ systems are Web three layers, Client Browser, and Component Services, as well as client/server with an application developed in Visual Basic 6.0 and databases developed in SQLSERVER 7.0. The platform of the NA compilation process was developed in Access databases and Excel worksheets. All staff members are connected to the Internet and there is an active Intranet for developing the various compilation and communications processes.

Adequate protection is provided for computer resources, including through provision of emergency back-up systems, for retrieval of statistical series and updates in the event of natural disasters, accidents, and other unusual events. Back-ups are daily updated.

Currently, funding for the compilation of NA is provided under the budgetary process of the CBCH. Short- and medium-term work programs are taken into account in the budgetary process. Requests for funding for special projects such as changing the benchmark year of the accounts, expanding their coverage, and conducting studies for improving methodology are included as part of the normal budgetary process.

0.2.2 Measures to ensure efficient use of resources are implemented

The CBCH has a three-year (2006-2008) strategic plan13 that serves to increase the quality and timeliness of the compiled statistical series as well as to improve efficiency in the allocation of resources. The three-year strategic plan is further broken down into individual annual work plans. These plans are administered by each organizational unit of the bank in coordination with the Administration and Managers Committee of the CBCH. This committee meets every quarter to review progress. The allocation of both financial and human resources is also discussed during these meetings. In addition, each unit formally reviews progress on a monthly basis according with their work plans.

Staff is evaluated annually based on the criteria of integration, contributions, and the achievement of preestablished goals. This evaluation method is currently being revised to bring it in line with the new salary mobility and performance bonus practices.

To increase the effectiveness of working processes, a database for NA has been developed based on a specific data model. In this model, all transaction-related data are tied to attributes relating to the agent, type of operation, and type of object. This has allowed for a high level of consistency between the use of classification concepts and systems for reconciling the benchmark compilation and the annual follow-up compilation of production and goods and services accounts. This initiative is now being extended to the following areas:

  • Sectoral compilation. The data model is being developed for various industries (activities) to improve the effectiveness of the sectoral compilation and preliminary reconciliation processes.

  • Processes model. To facilitate ongoing quality improvement in working procedures, documentation is being prepared on the process and on each compilation in a given frequency for a specific period. This may result in a processes model to complement the data model.

  • To increase the efficiency of the database and database extensions described above, consideration has been given to moving from the current computer platform (Access) to other platforms that allow for greater scale and more rapid execution of processes (SQL Server).

The benchmark compilation, which has been carried out every seven to 10 years, has been consistently reviewed by outside experts to evaluate the statistical methodology and compilation systems. The benchmark compilation, the most costly compilation in terms of funding, is periodically evaluated and compares favorably in cost-benefit terms with previous similar exercises conducted in Chile and other exercises carried out in the region. The current strategic plan includes the update of the benchmark year to 2008 (every five years).

The CBCH has an elaborate process for budgetary formulation and monitoring of budgetary execution. This process facilitates the allocation of resources and achievement of results within the context of the strategic planning conducted every three years and updated annually.

0.3 Relevance

0.3.1 The relevance and practical utility of existing statistics in meeting users’ needs are monitored

The CBCH’s website provides two e-mail addresses for users to submit feedback on the statistical database and other suggestions. However, no other specific measures such as surveys, informative bulletins, or seminars have been adopted to ensure that statistics meet users’ needs.

The NAD has no periodic and direct process for consulting with substantive users of NA, academia, the media, and/or the private sector in order to evaluate the usefulness of the NA and identify emerging requirements in this area.

Nonetheless, there has been a high degree of sensitivity and response capacity in meeting requests that such agents have made to the CBCH, as well as requests made by the CBCH’s own research and management units in order to more adequately fulfill their mandate.

This was the case with the IMACEC (1985) and the quarterly accounts (2005). The first request related to a need for monetary planning policies; and the second reflected monetary policy requirements based on inflation targeting.

The NAD actively participates in statistical meetings and seminars organized by regional organizations (ECLAC and Andean Community (CAN)14) and has begun to join organizations outside the region (OECD).15

Recommendation: Initiate regular consultations with public and private sector users to identify new and emerging data requirements.

0.4 Other quality management

0.4.1 Processes are in place to focus on quality

The objectives aligned with the 2006-2008 strategic initiatives are to “prepare and disseminate to the country on a timely basis national, regional, and sectoral statistics on areas within the purview of the Central Bank of Chile and on the conduct of its policies, maintaining high standards of quality and using the best technology available.”16

In order to achieve these objectives, the CBCH has determined the follow-up high-impact plans (initiatives) that will be developed by the NAD:

  • Developing and implementing the 2008 benchmark compilation (CR2008); and

  • Improving the quality of statistics through specific projects in the NA areas.

This statement of objectives emphasizing the importance of quality commits the GIIE and the NAD to achieving these objectives and to establishing specific goals for all staff members of the NAD. In this framework, the units elaborate working plans as well as the training program.

0.4.2 Processes are in place to monitor the quality of the statistical program

The procedures for monitoring the quality of the NA program are as follows:

  • The first has been to structure the initiatives indicated in 0.4.1 “Improving the quality of statistics through specific projects in the NA area” based on the IMF’s focus on gaps between the local situation and best practices in terms of sources, methods, and results or statistical products. The NAD indicated that the recommendations the IMF will make regarding this report would allow for adjusting and prioritizing the components of such initiatives.

  • The second procedure consists of the history of the different versions of the products according to the BEA review of results approach. This has been consistently done for the quarterly and annual follow-up compilations. In addition to these reviews, a methodology was added that allows for systematic comparison between the 2003 benchmark compilation and the 2003 follow-up compilation (base year 1996).17 This has been applied for the years 2004 and 2005 by comparing the rebasing results according to the 1996 and 2003 benchmarks.

  • The third procedure is to monitor the quality of processes18 following the Eurostat approach based on documentation of the processes, which may result in a processes model to complement the data model, as indicated in 0.2.2. This allows for comparison between periods and between versions based on sources (i.e., response rate) and methods (i.e., double deflation method versus single indicator method) used at the most disaggregated level of the data. The evaluation of procedural quality would make it possible to assign a certain level of reliability to each record used in the compilation as well as contribute to an objective measurement of data quality for purposes of incorporating statistical methods at certain preliminary reconciliation levels.

The dissemination and revision cycle of the NA itself constitutes an adequate procedure for monitoring quality in terms of the factors explaining discrepancies between preliminary and revised estimates. This allows steps to be taken to reduce those discrepancies when feasible.

0.4.3 Processes are in place to deal with quality considerations in planning the statistical program

Development of the NA program incorporates quality improvements identified in the follow-up and periodic revisions as well as in the information on quality standards and new data requirements from users’ feedback. Decisions are made weighting the various dimensions of quality taking into account the volume of resources available. These issues are resolved by incorporating best level (accuracy/reliability) measurements in less frequent measurements (annual or benchmark) and seeking the best way to measure changes from best level through more frequent measurements (quarterly and monthly). This method allows the optimization of the cost/benefit relation of the national information system for NA purposes.

1. Assurances of integrity

1.1 Professionalism

1.1.1 Statistics are produced on an impartial basis

The professional independence of the CBCH is established in Article 1° of its Constitutional Law.19 Article 1 states that the CBCH is an autonomous institution that is technical in nature, of unlimited duration, and has juridical personality, and its own capital. Impartiality in the production of the NA represents a CBCH feature of the highest order in terms of its institutional credibility. This is seen as a prerequisite for greater effectiveness in monetary policy.

Although there are no specific standards or statutes preventing external influence on the content and dissemination of the NA, in practice there is no external or internal influence that could have an impact on NA results.

Article 8 of the CBCH’s law stipulates that the tenure of the members of the Board is 10 years, and their appointments may be renewed. Replacements shall be in a staggered fashion every two years. The Board is composed of five members appointed by the President of Chile, with approval from the senate. The Governor of the Board and the Bank is appointed by the President of Chile from among the Board members for a period of five years, or for the lesser period remaining in his or her term as board member. Standards set within the CBCH establish regard for professional behavior, courtesy toward respondents, integrity, impartiality in hiring, execution of official duties, and the avoidance of influence by third parties.

In order to strengthen internal independence and following the recommendations from outside consultation, since October 2005 the GIIE no longer reports to the Research Division but rather to General Management. Internal communication procedures and information requests have been adjusted accordingly. A CBCH Statistics Committee helps to ensure formal relations between the GIIE and the rest of the CBCH.

Recruitment and promotion are based on professional aptitude or expertise. Vacant positions are open to everybody and are posted on the CBCH’s website.20 Interested professionals apply for these positions, and the most suitable candidate is selected to assume a position of greater responsibility, in accordance with the technical requirements of each position. Contract hiring takes into account professional profiles for specific jobs.

Staff members are encouraged to attend seminars and pursue professional training. The CBCH staff attends annual meetings of NA experts hosted by ECLAC as well as regional meetings organized by the CAN. Staff also participate in courses sponsored by CEMLA and the European Training Centre for Economic Statisticians of Developing Countries (CESD—Madrid), among others.

Staff members are encouraged to conduct research projects. For example, some case studies were undertaken to guarantee internal consistency in the supply-and-use table and to evaluate the compilation in real terms through chain indices. Staff also prepare analytical texts relating to NA topics for publication in CBCH’s publications and journals.

1.1.2 Choices of sources and statistical techniques as well as decisions about dissemination are informed solely by statistical considerations

The selection of source data and statistical techniques for the compilation of statistical series is based solely on statistical considerations. The NA are compiled in accordance with professional criteria and with complete independence. The choice of source data, whether from surveys or administrative records, and the selection of statistical techniques, are based solely on measurement objectives and data requirements. Cost considerations may sometimes determine the selection of sources and methods as well. Decisions to disseminate data are based on technical, timeliness, and cost considerations.

1.1.3 The appropriate statistical entity is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics

When necessary, the CBCH responds to erroneous interpretations of the NA through press releases and other means. The CBCH follows the press very carefully with regard to references to the CBCH’s statistical products. Data are presented to the media at press conferences held at their time of release. Comments on GDP trends are included in the presentation and in the CBCH’s Monthly Bulletin that is distributed to the press. This bulletin identifies the main underlying factors behind unusual figures, movements, and revisions, in order to improve user understanding and reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation. The President and the manager of the GIIE are entitled to respond to public criticism of statistics or instances of misuse of statistics, but there have been few instances where response to public criticism has been required.

1.2 Transparency

1.2.1 The terms and conditions under which statistics are collected, processed, and disseminated are available to the public

The CBCH’s website includes its law, which informs about the CBCH’s standards of confidentiality and professionalism of its President and Board of Directors. This law can also be obtained in print in Spanish or English from the CBCH’s Publications Department.

The CBCH By-Law and the Manual of Ethics Code have been posted on the CBCH’s intranet. The CBCH’s website (http://www.bcentral.cl) contains a directory of key personnel and two e-mail addresses to direct additional requests, suggestions, and contact CBCH personnel. The CBCH publications contain information on the CBCH’s website, its PO Box, address, e-mail address, and phone and fax numbers. In addition, the CBCH library has a unit in charge of providing information to the public.

1.2.2 Internal governmental access to statistics prior to their release is publicly identified

The NA are released simultaneously to all users and no person or institution outside the CBCH has access to the data prior to their publication. This principle is strictly observed. The only exception is the Minister of Finance, who attends some Board meetings and receives the IMACEC—under embargo—24 hours in advance of its general release. This access is informed in the metadata for NA of the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS) posted on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB). The CBCH’s website has a link to the SDDS website.

1.2.3 Products of statistical agencies/units are clearly identified as such

All CBCH publications include the bank’s name and logo. The CBCH has a policy of releasing publications on the NA in a standard format (including titles, colors, and typography). In the case of joint publications with other institutions, the institutions involved in the publication are identified. The CBCH asks that the source of NA records be acknowledged when third-party institutions reproduce such statistics.

1.2.4 Advanced notice is given of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques

Users are informed in advance, primarily through articles published in the Monetary Policy Report (IPOM), briefings, or news releases, of any major change in methodology, sources data, and statistical techniques.

Thus, for example, the new series of NA at 2003 prices that was published on March 23, 2007 was reported in October 2006 and its results were internalized by users well in advance. In addition, it has also been reported that changes can be expected in NA sources and methods with publication of the 2008 Benchmark Compilation (CR2008) to be published in 2011.

1.3 Ethical standards

1.3.1 Guidelines for staff behavior are in place and are well known to the staff

There is a Manual of Ethics Code (March, 2003) that establishes clear standards describing the procedures that the organization and its staff must follow when potential conflict of interest situations arise (Section II, 1). It also includes clear ethical standards on measures to be adopted to prevent the misuse or misinterpretation of statistics (Section II, 2). Implementation of the manual is facilitated by a solid ethical standards culture that discourages political interference. The manual is available on the CBCH’s intranet and staff is made aware of the manual in orientation courses when they join the organization.

The CBCH law, its By-Laws, and the Manual of Ethics Code include guidelines on staff behavior regarding the discretion that shall be observed on the affairs that due to their character are reserved and the observance of a decorous conduct and respect with peers and the public. The manual also states incompatibilities and conflicts of interest that are prohibited, such as to receive from parties with business relationships with the CBCH any invitation or gift that can be related to expedite paperwork or transactions, or any other circumstance that could induce a special treatment or inappropriate authorization. Obligations of the staff include being efficient in the performance of their duties, updating their knowledge regularly, and using the bank’s goods properly. The CBCH’s By-Laws present the sanctions to apply to staff who do not comply with the prohibitions. These sanctions include verbal and written reprehension and dismissal of the employee.

2. Methodological soundness

2.1 Concepts and definitions

2.1.1 The overall structure in terms of concepts and definitions follows internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The general framework used for compiling the national accounts is guided by the recommendations of the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA).

Implementation of the 1993 SNA has been gradual in the 1986, 1996, and 2003 benchmark compilations.21 Currently, the major deviations from concepts and definitions established in the 1993 SNA involve agricultural work-in-progress, investment in in-house development of software, mining exploration, and the measurement of rentals of owner-occupied housing (See sections 2.2.1 and 5.2.1). These issues are kept under review and are on the agenda for the 2008 benchmark compilation.

2.2 Scope

2.2.1 The scope is broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

Follow-up compilations are produced based on the benchmark compilation annually, quarterly, and monthly in order to calculate the best change in the macroeconomic aggregates.

In this context, the 1993 SNA accounts and tables that the Inter-secretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) determined as minimum and recommended requirements for implementation of the 1993 SNA, as listed below, are compiled:

  • Annual follow-up compilation:

  • - Annual value added and GDP at current and constant prices by economic activity

  • - Annual value added components at current prices by activity

  • - Annual expenditures of GDP at current and constant prices

  • - Annual rest-of-the-world accounts (up to net lending)

  • - Sequence of accounts for the total economy (up to net lending) with an annual frequency

  • - Annual supply-and-use tables (recommended requirement)

  • Quarterly follow-up compilation (recommended requirements):

  • - Quarterly value added by activity and GDP at current and constant prices

  • - Quarterly expenditures of GDP at current and constant prices.

In addition to the minimum and recommended requirements for implementation of the 1993 SNA, there is a:

  • Monthly follow-up compilation:

  • - Volume indicator of economic activity, a synthetic benchmark indicator measured of production volume by economic activity.

The production boundary is generally consistent with that established by the 1993 SNA, although there are some exceptions that can be attributed more to the lack of information than to conceptual deviations:

  • Own-account production of manufactured goods for own-final consumption is excluded. What is included is own-account production of agricultural goods for own-final consumption.

  • Research and development activities on own account are included as costs in the intermediate consumption of the principal activity and not as individual products.

  • Mining exploration is not included in investment, although the costs thereof are measured.

  • The production of entertainment, literary, or artistic originals is not included. This item is very insignificant.

  • The production of computer software for own use is not included. In addition, this is not a significant item.

  • No estimates are made of illegal output sold to willing buyers and of shuttle trade/contraband.

The delimitation of the constituent units of the economy is in accordance with the 1993 SNA. In particular, free zones operated by offshore enterprises under customs control and workers who work part of the year in other countries are included as part of the economy.

The assets boundary is broadly consistent with the 1993 SNA. Tangible assets include, for example, national defense related assets that could be used for civilian purposes. Valuables and historical monuments are not included. Regarding agricultural, livestock, and forestry work-in-progress, only forestry and livestock work-in-progress is included.

As for intangible assets, mineral exploration is measured as intermediate consumption and not as investment. Computer systems, software, and databases are included as assets only when purchased from third parties and not when companies develop them in-house. Entertainment, literary, or artistic originals are not included nor are patented entities, financial leases, and other transferable contracts.

Recommendation: Incorporate agricultural work-in-progress and mineral exploration in the production and assets boundary, given the importance of mining and agriculture activities in the Chilean economy.

2.3 Classification/sectorization

2.3.1 Classification/sectorization systems used are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The classification and sectorization used for compiling the NA are broadly consistent with recommended international systems, although some deviations exist:

  • The 1993 SNA is used to classify institutional units, transactions, and other flows in the system.

  • The International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Rev. 3 is used to classify the principal economic activities (industries) of establishments and enterprises, with some exceptions, such as the inclusion of copper-manufactured products in mining. In addition, correlative codes are used instead of the international standard codification.

  • A local adaptation of the Central Product Classification (CPC), called the Single Product Classifier, is used to classify products and correlative codes are also used instead of the international standard codification.

There are deviations from the international systems recommended for classification by function or purpose:

  • The Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) is not used for classifying household consumption expenditures, but it is being implemented.

  • The Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) is not applied to classify functions of government, but it is being implemented.

Given the relational nature of the NAD databases, the implementation of classifiers different from those used is resolved in a relatively simple way by using correspondence tables linking one classifier to another. Thus, compilation and reconciliation processes can continue as usual based on the existing classifiers, and the results can easily be reclassified in terms of the recommended international systems.

Recommendation: Apply the standard ISIC Rev. 3 and CPC for classifying activities and products, respectively, in order to facilitate international comparisons, and publish complementary tables for domestic analysis of copper-related activities and main export products.

2.4 Basis for recording

2.4.1 Market prices are used to value flows and stocks

All transactions are recorded at market prices prevailing at the time they occur in accordance with 1993 SNA recommendations.

  • Market output is valued at basic prices.

  • Output for own use is valued at equivalent market prices.

  • Taxes on products are part of the valuation of production at producer prices and of intermediate and final consumer goods. In the Chilean case, this involves taxes on tobacco products and petroleum refining products.

  • Value-added taxes are included in the valuation of intermediate consumption in exempt activities but the deductible portion of the value added tax on other activities is excluded.

  • The deductible portion of value added taxes is excluded from the valuation of final uses.

  • Corrections are made when transfer prices are detected in order to reflect market prices. This procedure applies in particular to outputs from vertically integrated industries.

  • Total imports and exports are valued on an f.o.b. basis.

  • Transactions in foreign currency are converted using the mid-point exchange rate prevailing in the market at the moment they take place or by using monthly average exchange rates.

The above apply equally to the benchmark compilation and the annual follow-up compilation.

2.4.2 Recording is done on an accrual basis

Transactions and flows are recorded on an accrual basis. This includes government revenues, which are on a cash basis, but are allocated to the corresponding period to convert them to accrual basis. Government expenditures are recorded on an accrual basis. The major exception relates to agricultural work-in-progress, since agriculture output is recorded at the time of the harvest instead of at the time it occurs. This deviation is relevant for the compilation of quarterly GDP.

2.4.3 Grossing/netting procedures are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

Grossing/netting procedures are consistent with the 1993 SNA. Specifically, as of the 2003 benchmark compilation, all transactions between establishments within the same enterprise are recorded on a gross basis.

3. Accuracy and reliability

3.1 Source data

3.1.1 Source data are obtained from comprehensive data collection programs that take into account country-specific conditions

In Chile, the source data for the NA—censuses, surveys, administrative records—are developed on a decentralized basis independently of the NAD. Despite statistics collection efforts in the context of the National Statistics System (NSS) led by the NSI, the development of source data for NA purposes is uneven.

As it is usually the case, there has been greater availability of source data for measuring GDP by the production approach than by expenditure, and hence, greater reliability of the GDP estimate by the production approach than by the expenditure approach, as well as greater reliability of the GDP estimate by the expenditure approach than by the income approach. The same uneven development is seen within the source data for measuring GDP by the production approach. While source data on traditional activities such as agriculture, mining, and manufacturing are more developed, source data on some service industries is insufficient. The same situation occurs when a shorter periodicity is introduced; there are source data on production and other indicators by product on a monthly basis, but expenditure data are partially included on a quarterly basis; and income data are incorporated on an annual basis. Nonetheless, the availability of source data with a different periodicity and their reliability largely follows international standards.

The NAD has a strategy that considers the following analytical aspects, so that the data collection programs used to compile the NA are adequate, take into account the specific conditions of the country, and neutralize some of the weaknesses mentioned above:

  • Intense use of the supply-and-use table (SUT) as a tool for integrating source data.

  • Relating the sources among the time series with different periodicity. The statistics collection program is a medium-term program and coincides with Chile’s NA compilation cycle. This begins with the benchmark compilation and continues with the annual, quarterly, and monthly follow-up compilations.

The major institutional management initiatives for carrying out the strategy described above are:

  • Establishing cooperation and technical assistance relationships with information sources outside the NAD by designing forms, processes for validation, and attribution of annual statistics from enterprises/establishments, and household surveys prices (i.e., NSI), public finances (DIPRES, MOF), and structuring classifications and filters in the case of administrative records (ITS and NCS).

  • In those cases where the above initiatives are insufficient, carrying out directly or through third parties:

  • Periodic data collection activities for the annual, quarterly, and monthly follow-up compilations,

  • Special studies primarily for the benchmark compilation, and

  • Improving the quality of source data.

The sources for the IMACEC22 are the ones used to compile the variables shaded in dark gray with a black border in Table 1. The list of sources is presented in Table 2 and essentially involves product statistics in that there are no monthly industry indicators.

Table 1:

National Accounts Source Data

Contribution to the SUT according to compilation’s frecuency

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Table 2:

Main Data Sources by Product (Supply - Use)

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p: product method, s: sample

Assessment: +: good, =: satisfactory, -: unsatisfactory

In the best case, these are direct indicators of production volume such as monthly statistics on manufacturing and mining production, for which composition must be reclassified and concepts adjusted. Indirect indicators can be used to build direct indicators when information is not available, as in the case of agricultural, livestock, and fishing production. Building permits and square meters built are used for estimating construction. Export indicators help in those cases where the product is primarily sold in foreign markets.

The sources for the quarterly accounts23 are the ones used to compile the variables shaded with a lighter gray color than the dark gray used for the IMACEC in Table 1. Exports and imports by type of product, although available on a monthly basis, are used on a quarterly basis. The only product sources that become available quarterly are the register of investment projects, which is widely used and cover the projects of more than five million dollars, and the quarterly survey of manufacturing and trade industries, which are used only for cross-checking purposes, as seen in the list in Table 3. There are good quarterly data on mining, electricity, gas, and water, and some transportation services as in the case of the annual estimates. The information on the government is timely and of good quality. Health indicators are limited to the public sector. There is no information on the other services, and therefore, they are estimated based on value added tax (VAT) records. On the expenditure side, a monthly index of retail sales of consumption goods is compiled and a quarterly survey on inventories is conducted. Imports are also classified by economic use.

Table 3:

Main Data Sources by Industry (Output, Intermediate Consumption, Value Added)

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p: product method, s: sample, c: census

Assessment: +: good, =: satisfactory, -: unsatisfactory

Sources for the annual accounts24 include more information on products, such as the annual agriculture survey that provides data on crops and yields, as shown in Table 2. The data on construction of buildings, although the same as for the short term, also include a survey conducted by the CBCH on the main projects of engineering works.

The records on the production accounts by industry as indicated in the list presented in Table 3, are based on surveys to establishments and enterprises and on financial statements. Updated information on mining is obtained through surveys conducted by the CBCH. The NSI also conducts a survey on mining requesting similar data, which is a duplication of effort. For manufacturing, trade, and some service activities (personal and business services), the information is obtained through a regular program of enterprise and establishment surveys conducted by the NSI. They have national coverage and represent the four-digit level of the ISIC, Rev 3.

The national survey of manufacturing collects detailed information based on accounting statements and other statistics. It includes operational income and expenditures at a detailed level, data on employment and compensation of employees, production and sales of major products (volume and value), data on the quantity and value of the major inputs used in production, inventories, investment by type of activity, taxes, and depreciation.

The content and structure of the survey of trade and services are similar to those of the manufacturing survey, although the information is not collected in terms of outputs and inputs given the nature of the service activities. A special questionnaire is used for enterprises that provide restaurant and tourist accommodation services. The annual surveys conducted by the NSI do not cover all service activities; for this reason, the NAD conducts complementary surveys.

Regarding the sample frames used by the NSI in selecting samples and determining the factors for grossing-up survey data whether for the annual accounts or for the benchmark compilation, the procedure followed covers the census of major establishments and random samples for medium and small establishments. These samples frames are not regularly updated. To strengthen the establishment of sample frames, the NAD developed a directory of enterprises based on tax records, commercial guides, and surveys. The enterprises were classified based on their principal activity according to the ISIC Rev. 3. The directory has been used as a central framework for collecting and producing statistics within the CBCH. Its classifications are applied when processing tax record data. Subsequently, the CBCH transferred to the NSI the responsibility for managing, maintaining, and updating the directory in 2006, retaining the collection of data on services. This directory was updated with data for 2003-2004. However, since then the business register/sample frame has been partiality updated and this update is not done regularly, owing to budget constraints as well as the confidentiality of some useful data by enterprise from the income tax declarations.

Even though the timeliness of the results of NSI surveys was improved from 12 months to seven months, the validation process of the NSI’s surveys still has some limitations that hinder the timeliness and quality of the source data given the NSI’s resource constraints. The NSI’s resource constraints affect the NSI’s staff training and the retention of qualified staff. Therefore, the CBCH makes partial use of these important surveys. In addition, some surveys are very detailed, which increases respondent burden and makes surveys’ results less timely.

Recommendation: Ensure that the NSI has adequate financial resources, staff, and training, and take further steps to increase retention of qualified staff.

In the case of government finance statistics, there is complete, detailed, and timely information on the budgetary execution of the central government, based on accounting records from the Office of the Comptroller General and the General Treasury of the Republic. Implementation of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001) by the MOF is under way.

The statistics on education and health are supplied by the relevant ministries. Financial statements are obtained from financial institutions and from some subsectors of transportation, communications, electricity, gas, and water. Tax data are processed by branch of economic activity and used to validate estimates as well as grossing-up factors for economic surveys.

The price statistics used to compile estimates at constant prices are partially adequate. For sectors, whose production is determined based on administrative records—such as electricity, communication, and transportation—values at constant prices are estimated by using the deflation method. Imports and exports are mainly deflated by unit value indices. For exports, there are also price data for domestic production from establishment-based surveys. Also, constant price estimates of engineering works are obtained through deflation using indices of construction costs.

The sources for the benchmark compilation25 seek to establish the best level for each one of the macroeconomic aggregates in the SUT. This improves the estimates involved in the follow-up compilations and represents the only instance when the production matrix and the absorption matrix are completely updated. For this reason, the NAD undertakes the most wide-ranging effort to collect data from data sources. In addition to the customary product sources, there is additional information at both the product level (Table 2) and the industry level (Table 3).

To be noted in the first case are the 2003 Trade Margins Survey, the Fishing Survey, use of the 2002 Population and Housing Census,26 and better utilization of the statistics and administrative records that are annually employed.

The benchmark compilation benefits from the information on industries. The NSI annual surveys are used in all their potential only during the benchmark compilation because the CBCH allocates more resources for data validation and processing. Numerous surveys and case studies were conducted by the CBCH for the benchmark compilation, such as the Agriculture, Fruit-Farming, and Livestock Survey,27 Survey of Small Enterprises, and a study on construction. It also involves the processing of numerous financial statements (3,282) and establishment/enterprise surveys (24,916) that take up most of the resources in this area and make it possible to overcome the limitations in the sources for the follow-up compilations, particularly those corresponding to services.

Household Budget Surveys (HBS) are conducted every 10 years instead of every five years. The last survey was conducted between August 1996 and July 1997 in the Greater Santiago area and was used for an independent estimate of household consumption expenditure in the 1996 benchmark compilation. A new HBS is currently being conducted.

In conclusion, as shown in Tables 2, 3, and 4,

  1. i)The sources on products are satisfactory, with limited exceptions (agricultural products, fishing, administrative records on construction permits, internet services, and HBS).
  2. ii)The sources on industries are satisfactory and some of them are good, except the sources for estimating real estate and housing services. In the case of the annual surveys on manufacturing, domestic trade, services, and restaurants and tourist accommodation, the situation is mixed. Even though these surveys are not used in all their potential in the annual compilation due to timeliness and quality issues, they are satisfactory for the benchmark compilation as the NAD can devote resources and time to validate the data. Grossing-up factors are calculated using tax records in cases when a sample of enterprises was available: business and personal services and the rest of manufacturing.
Table 4

Coverage of Source Data L: less than 50 percent, M: 50-79 percent, H: 80 percent or more

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3.1.2 Source data reasonably approximate the definitions, scope, classifications, valuation, and time of recording required

Source data reasonably approximate the definitions, scope, classifications, valuation, and time of recording required for compiling NA statistics. The NA compilers are aware of differences in concepts and definitions used in the source data from those required by NA.

Annual data requested to establishments and nonfinancial enterprises are recorded on an accrual basis and disaggregated according to business accounting of the private sector. Likewise, the information on financial enterprises is recorded on an accrual basis according to the chart of accounts of financial institutions and insurance companies, respectively. In addition, the government has its own charts of accounts. Government expenditures are recorded on an accrual basis and revenues on a cash basis, but allocated to the corresponding period. The available information can be easily reclassified according to the 1993 SNA.

The coverage by economic activities and an assessment of the coverage in terms of output are presented below:

The coverage of the total economic activities in the annual surveys is satisfactory, except in the case of domestic trade, and restaurant, hotel, transport, business, real state, housing, and other personal services. However, income tax records are used to complete and improve the coverage of these activities. The economic activities that still have limited coverage after grossing-up the samples are agriculture, fishing, and real estate and housing services.

3.1.3 Source data are timely

There are no major problems with the timeliness of the source data. Data on financial and insurance companies, prices, foreign trade, balance of payments, the general government, and CBCH surveys are timely. However, the timeliness of data on manufacturing, domestic trade, and some services could be improved. In addition, response to the CBCH’s surveys of nonfinancial private enterprises is voluntary. Therefore, some responses are not timely. On the other hand, the NSI’ resources to regularly visit establishments are insufficient.

Two years ago, the release date of the monthly compilation was moved forward from 53 to 35 days. It took to review with the informants the timeliness of the source data and to reformulate respective contracts and agreements on data delivery. When there are delays, the CBCH uses related indicators, extrapolates trends, or uses partial information.

3.2 Assessment of source data

3.2.1 Source data—including censuses, sample surveys and administrative records—are routinely assessed, e.g., for coverage, sample error, response error, and nonsampling error; the results of the assessments are monitored and made available to guide statistical processes

The NAD examines the information received before using it, and carries out consultations to respondents on an informal basis to verify and confirm high value transactions. As is usually the case, the time devoted for evaluating annual data is greater than that devoted for evaluating monthly and quarterly data, owing to the timeliness and less detail of short-term data. Information is not available about sampling and nonsampling errors for all surveys. The NAD keeps archives for internal purposes on problems encountered (for example, issues of misclassification or measurement), to avoid similar problems in the future. Information about imputations made to the source data is available. Household surveys are audited to verify the accuracy of the individual survey data. Source data are routinely validated for temporal consistency. Most establishments are not selected from probabilistic samples due to the lack of an up-to-date business register. Therefore, coverage cannot be accurately assessed. Sample errors, nonsamples errors and response errors are not available for most surveys.

In the phase of the preannual reconciliation, source data are analyzed to correct deficiencies or errors, in particular to control the consistency with previous declarations and the consistency with other related source data. Source data are analyzed in depth in the context of the benchmark compilations and the effects of changes to questionnaires are evaluated when new surveys/questionnaires are incorporated.

Regarding administrative records, particularly on VAT, statistical procedures to detect atypical values and other anomalous differences are used. Also, the exactitude of the statistics of foreign trade, their volume, and particularly of unit value indices is evaluated regularly. Improvements in the scope of the data have been translated in a significant increase in the quality of the measurement of gross fixed capital formation.

However, the validation process of NSI surveys is affected by its resource constraints hindering the quality of source data for manufacturing, domestic trade, and some services.

3.3 Statistical techniques

3.3.1 Data compilation employs sound statistical techniques to deal with data sources

The compilation procedures are structured in an appropriate data model that has decisively contributed to reduce the processing errors in the reconciliation phase. At present, the implementation of data modeling toward prereconciliation processes of products and industries is under way. The atypical values are not replaced nor are modified unless it is clearly warranted. Compilation procedures minimize processing errors such as coding, editing, and tabulation errors. Procedures for imputation and adjustment for nonresponse are soundly based. Income tax records are used widely to grossing-up estimates to the populations in the benchmark compilation for products and industries, especially for service activities, as indicated in the penultimate column in Tables 2 and 3. When source data come from yearbooks and statistical reports, the population is determined by using the “value = volume x price” framework. This method is applied for agriculture, forestry, livestock, fishing, construction, real estate and housing services, and some branches of the manufacturing industry. In the case that income and financial statements are available from surveys, income tax declarations or accounting statements, the population is calculated by aggregating units: mining, electricity, gas and water, communications, public administration, financial services, and part of the manufacturing industry; or were grossed-up by using income tax records in the cases where only sample data were available: business and personal surveys and the rest of the manufacturing industry.

The projects and studies for the benchmark compilation were broken down into the following three categories:

  • Economic industries. These focused on the preparation of production accounts, that is, obtaining values for production, intermediate consumption and value added, using economic surveys, administrative records, financial statements and numerous statistics for volumes and prices. These projects also provided destination hypothesis data (intermediate and final consumption, capital formation, and exports) for products included in the industries examined.

  • Institutional industries. These focused on preparing institutional accounts. Data came mainly from financial statements, government budget statements, and balance sheets. The results from these projects made it possible to complement, validate, and balance production data for each industry with institutional data on income, expenditure, and accumulation.

  • Cross-Industry. These focused on meeting one of the following three objectives: (1) compiling information that cuts across several industries, such as investment studies, changes in inventory, household consumption expenditure, rest of the world, small business, and employment and compensation of employees, (2) build software processing platforms to update the data model used in NA, and develop a range of software for industry and cross-industry estimates, and (3) contribute to the last phase of the 2003 benchmark compilation program which involves reconcile the SUT of goods and services.

The projects described above helped to determine how thousands of products from more than 400 industries are produced and used. To turn all this information into NA aggregates, primary information underwent several stages of treatment: classification, validation, standardization to conform to NA concepts and preparation of production accounts. At this last stage, data for 73 products and 73 industries were compiled.

3.3.2 Other statistical procedures (e.g., data adjustments and transformations, and statistical analysis) employ sound statistical techniques

The 2003 benchmark compilation28 is the fifth carried out in Chile, with previous efforts referring to 1962, 1977, 1986, and 1996. The recent reduction in the compilation cycle from 10 (1986-1996) to seven years (1996- 2003) reflects efforts to strengthen the NA revision policy, to improve their accuracy and bring them into line with best international practices. The results of the new benchmark compilation replace the estimates that, in the context of the 1996 benchmark, were carried out for 2003. With the new 2003 benchmark compilation, the previously estimated annual accounts were reviewed, as were quarterly and monthly estimates. Accounts prepared in these same frequencies for 2004, 2005, and 2006 were also revised in nominal terms and rebased in real terms.

The system used for the compilation of the NA is mainly based on a SUT disaggregated by activities and products, as seen in Table 5. To ensure the consistency of a heterogeneous set of figures and sources, the aggregated information was organized in seven main tables. Table 5 illustrates, by way of example, a version of the 2003 SUT reduced to three products and three industries, with the resulting benchmark compilation data.

Table 5:

National Accounts Methods

Contribution to the SUT according to frecuency of compilation

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Illustrative numbers for Chile 2003, in trillions of current pesos. In some cases, totals do not sum up because of rounding