Canada to revise GDP, other data to adopt new standard

Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:02pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Statistics Canada will be making the biggest revisions in 15 years to national accounts data as part of an international shift to updated standards, an official said on Friday.

The changes will reflect guidelines released in 2008 by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and other international bodies. The last such revision was done in 1997, based on a 1993 standard.

The revised standard incorporates new weightings and measures such as investment in intellectual property products.

It should also ensure that national statistics are internationally comparable, economist James Tebrake told reporters at the federal agency.

Statistics Canada has been preparing for the new changes for a couple of years, Tebrake said. The United States is scheduled to release its national accounts on a 2008 basis in the summer of 2013.

The revisions will be done at first on already-released data.

On October 1, the agency will provide revisions of data released this week on quarterly gross domestic product and current and capital accounts. This will cover 1981 through the second quarter of 2012.

On October 12 it will release revised productivity accounts for the business sector through the second quarter of 2012.

And on October 15, it will provide second-quarter financial accounts and national balance sheet accounts, which includes household debt and debt-to-disposable income ratios.   Continued...