The aim of the Conference was to understand how recent developments in statistics cast light on a global and dynamic economy, as well as on recent developments arising from the financial and economic crises. The delegates also discussed pitfalls in communicating and interpreting national accounts. Participants also collected users’ views on the statistical framework and how it should evolve in the coming years to cope with the future requirements of users of economic statistics.
In a recorded opening speech, Joaquin Almunia, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, highlighted the importance of national accounts and complementary information for European policies, as well as challenges posed by the recent financial and economic crises. Walter Radermacher, Director General of Eurostat, focused on recent achievements and new perspectives in national accounts. He reviewed implications of the System of National Accounts (SNA) and the European System of Accounts (ESA) revisions, and outlined his long-term vision for European National Accounts.
Other distinguished speakers included Steven Keuning (Director General of Statistics at the European Central Bank), Marco Buti (DG for Economic and Financial Affairs) and Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (President of the European Socialists and former Danish Prime Minister). Delegates discussed how the global economic crisis increased the importance of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reflecting that the downturn in the real economy was well captured by national accountants. However a need for more integrated accounts, such as environmental accounts, should be developed.
The National Statistics Office was represented by Michael Pace Ross, Director General and by Joseph Bonello, Director Economic Statistics.
More details may be obtained from the conference website: