13.5.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The Culture Satellite Accounts are a statistical system which aims to describe the economic contribution of culture. The Culture Satellite Accounts are also called the culture satellite.

The culture satellite aims to describe culture’s proportion of the gross domestic product and domestic demand. In general, satellite accounts refer to an expansion or specification of national accounts which examines an aggregate whose data are not found directly in the core system.

While there is no internationally agreed method for producing the culture satellite thus far, the culture satellite compiled in Finland largely follows the same methods that are used in the Travel and Tourism Satellite Accounts, which have been developed in international cooperation.

Statistical population

In the National Accounts, the population of a country consists of all resident statistical units (institutional units or local KAUs; see Section 3.5). A unit is a resident unit of a country when it has a centre of predominant economic interest on the economic territory of that country, that is, when it engages for an extended period (one year or more) in economic activities on this territory.

The culture satellite describes the position of culture as part of Finland’s national economy, and only statistical units from separately agreed industries and sectors are included in the calculation.

Statistical unit

Following the ESA 2010 guidelines, two types of units and two corresponding ways of subdividing the economy are used in the National Accounts: (a) institutional unit; (b) local kind-of-activity unit (local KAU). The first type is used for describing income, expenditure and financial flows as well as balance sheets. The second type of unit is used for the description of production processes, input-output analysis and regional analysis.

An institutional unit is an economic entity characterised by decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function. A resident unit is regarded as constituting an institutional unit in the economic territory where it has its centre of predominant economic interest if it has decision-making autonomy and either keeps a complete set of accounts, or is able to compile a complete set of accounts.

A local KAU groups all the parts of an institutional unit in its capacity as producer, which are located in a single site or in closely located sites, and which contribute to the performance of an activity at the class level (4-digit level) of the NACE Rev. 2.
An institutional unit comprises one or more local KAUs; a local KAU belongs to one and only one institutional unit.
In the calculation of the culture satellite, the data of non-financial corporations (S11) and households (S14) are obtained from Statistics Finland’s Business Register (by industry, summed to the 5-digit level), the data of general government (S13) unit-specifically (S1311 central government and S1313 local government separately, the data are summed by industry to the 5-digit level), and in terms of non-profit institutions serving households (S15), calculated on the basis of the sums of wages and salaries, from the production account data in the National Accounts.

Unit of measure

The units of measure used are EUR million, 100 people, and percentage of the corresponding data on the entire economy.

Base period

All the time series of the statistics are at current prices and have been calculated as of 2008.

Reference period

The culture satellite constitutes annual statistics. The data are usually completed 22 months after the end of the statistical reference year.

Reference area

The data of the culture satellite are currently produced solely at the level of whole country in total, not in any more detail.

Sector coverage

The culture satellite describes the position of culture as part of Finland’s national economy. The National Accounts are the core of depicting the national economy and the Culture Satellite Accounts are a specification of them. The National Accounts describe the economic activity of all units operating in the national economy.

Finland’s national economy is formed by units whose predominant economic interest is centred in Finland’s economic territory. ESA 2010 distinguishes five mutually exclusive sectors: (a) non-financial corporations; (b) financial corporations; (c) general government; (d) households; (e) non-profit institutions serving households. Of these, all but financial institutions are included in the calculation of the culture satellite, and of the sectors included, some separately agreed industries (at the 5-digit level).

Time coverage

Data according to the Standard Industrial Classification TOL 2002 are available from 1995 to 2008, and data according to the Standard Industrial Classification TOL 2008 from 2008 onwards. The figures are calculated only after the source data are ready, due to which the data are not updated in regular calculation.

Frequency of dissemination

The culture satellite constitutes annual statistics. The data are usually completed 22 months after the end of the statistical reference year.



Employment covers all persons – both employees and self-employed – engaged in some productive activity that falls within the production boundary of the system.

Final consumption expenditure

Final consumption expenditure consists of expenditure incurred by resident institutional units on goods or services that are used for the direct satisfaction of individual needs or wants, or the collective needs of members of the community. Final consumption expenditure may take place on the domestic territory or abroad. Final consumption expenditure is incurred by households, non-profit institutions serving households and general government. Non-financial corporations, financial and insurance corporations do not have final consumption expenditure.

Output at basic prices

Output at basic prices consists of the products which have been produced in the accounting period. Three categories of output are distinguished: market output, output for own final use, and other non-market output. Output is to be recorded and valued when it is generated by the production process.

Value added

Value added (gross) refers to the value generated by any unit engaged in a production activity. In market production it is calculated by deducting from the unit's output the intermediates (goods and services) used in the production process and in non-market production by adding up compensation of employees, consumption of fixed capital and possible taxes on production and imports.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The starting point for the culture satellite is a model in which the industries involving culture to be included in the calculations are selected separately. This approach is not exhaustive, because the part of cultural activities taking place outside the industries selected as cultural industries is not included and because, on the other hand, activities beyond the scope of cultural activities are included in respect of some industries. In addition, the calculation lacks entirely cultural activities which remain outside of the production boundary defined in the National Accounts’ core system.

There is no other data source based on which a potential bias could be assessed.


The data of the culture satellite are calculated after the input data (Business Register, the data of general government and the production accounts in the National Accounts as well as households’ final consumption expenditure) are completed, i.e. the data are published with a roughly 22-month delay as of the end of a statistical reference year.


Good practice requires the dates on which National Accounts data become available to be determined in advance and for these publication dates to be met. The culture satellite data have been delivered according to the target schedule.


In most countries national accounts cover the domains national accounts main aggregates, government accounts, sector accounts regional accounts and supply and use tables. However, the content of the data on these domains as well as the (details of the) various breakdowns (by region, sector, industry, product, etc.) may deviate per country, depending on national needs and available sources.

The ESA 2010 transmission programme, consisting of 22 tables across all national accounts domains (see section10.3) defines the minimum national accounts data set that must be available in all Member States of the EU.

Statistics Finland typically publishes more detailed data than required by the transmission programme.

Data revision - practice

While revisions should be seen as a process to progressively improve the quality of national accounts as e.g. better sources and/or methods become available, the availability of metadata on revisions is a key element for understanding  national accounts data and revisions between subsequent releases.

Therefore, information on the main reasons for revisions and their nature (new source data available, new methods, etc.) as well as possibly quantitative and qualitative assessment on the average size of revisions and their direction based on historical data is required.

In 2016 Finland has not performed routine revisions.

Relevant documentation of the revisions can be found on each statistics web page under ’Revisions in these statistics


Comparability - geographical

In Finland, the data of the culture satellite are calculated solely in terms of the entire country. While efforts to create an internationally uniform model for the Culture Satellite Accounts have so far failed, a number of countries have carried out defining work and calculations on the topic. The idea behind the calculations is identical in different countries, but because the industries included vary from one country to the next, the data are not internationally comparable.

Comparability - over time

The culture satellite data from 1995 to 2008 are based on the National Accounts data produced according to the 2002 Standard Industrial Classification (TOL2002). Culture satellite data in accordance with the 2008 Standard Industrial Classification (TOL2008) have been produced as of 2008. The ESA 2010 revision carried out in 2014 and the National Accounts time series revision carried out in the autumn of 2019 were accounted for in the culture satellite calculations in such a way that the reference data pertaining to the entire economy were revised in accordance with the existing time series revision. In the autumn of 2019, revisions resulting from changes made to the industrial classifications were also made to the calculations of the culture satellite, although in other respects, they have not been changed backwards in connection to time series revisions.

Coherence - cross domain

The National Accounts are an internationally coherent method by which to measure the national economies of different countries. The National Accounts compiled by Statistics Finland comply with the UN’s recommendations concerning national accounts (SNA2008) and the EU’s European System of Accounts (ESA2010) based on the SNA.
As satellite accounts to the National Accounts, the culture satellite also complies with the coherent methodologies based on the above.

Coherence - internal

The National Accounts are an internationally coherent method by which to measure the national economies of different countries. The National Accounts compiled by Statistics Finland comply with the UN’s recommendations concerning national accounts (SNA2008) and the EU’s statutory European System of Accounts (ESA2010) based on them.
As satellite accounts to the National Accounts, the culture satellite also complies with the coherent methodologies based on the aforementioned systems.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The data in the culture satellite are based on the data sources used in compiling the National Accounts. The input data of the culture satellite are calculated by sector for separately agreed industries at the 5-digit level and are then summed to the level of the whole economy (different sectors in total) by industry group.

The data on output, value added and employment by industry and sector are obtained from the source data, as are the private and public consumption expenditure.

Data collection

There is no separate data collection for the culture satellite. Rather, the accounts rely on existing material and data (Business Register, unit-level data of general government and production accounts in the National Accounts as well as households’ final consumption expenditure).

Frequency of data collection

A large part of the source data is derived from primary statistics. The frequency of the collection of basic data varies: basic data can be collected on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.


Data compilation

The data obtained from existing data sets are first summed to the 5-digit level by industry, then by sector, and finally into bigger industry groups. The consumption expenditure data are obtained either directly from the calculations on final consumption expenditure or as a residual item from industry-specific calculations (S13, S15). The consumption expenditure data are also summed into larger groups. 

Data validation

Validation is typically carried out in connection with data collection and the compilation of primary statistics. The compilers of the Culture Satellite Accounts also carry out micro-level checks of the data, when the data allow for it. The checks are typically related to missing or abnormal observations.


The objectives of seasonal adjustment are to identify and remove seasonal fluctuations and calendar effects which can mask short and long-term movements in a time series and impede a clear understanding of underlying phenomena. Seasonal adjustment is therefore a fundamental process in the interpretation of time series to inform policy making (ESS guidelines on seasonal adjustment, 2015 Edition, Annex, point 1).

For selected sub-annual national accounts data, such as notably the quarterly main aggregates, time series are usually not only published in their unadjusted form, but also with various types of adjustment (e.g. seasonal, calendar, trend-cycle).

According to the ESA transmission programme, quarterly data are to be provided in non-seasonally adjusted form, as well as in seasonally adjusted form (including calendar adjustments, where relevant) except for previous year’s prices.

The provision of quarterly data that only include calendar adjustments is voluntary.

For sector accounts, seasonal adjustment (including calendar adjustments, where relevant) is compulsory for a limited set of series.

Key approaches and techniques for the compilation of national accounts in Finland can be summarised as follows:

The leading approach to compile GDP in the framework of annual national accounts in Finland is the production approach. Consistency is obtained via balancing process. Notably, changes in inventories and valuables or gross operating surplus and mixed income are derived as residuals. The same approach is used for the compilation of quarterly national accounts. Sector accounts are compiled together with main aggregates.

Seasonal adjustment methods are described in Methodological description of Quarterly National Accounts http://stat.fi/til/ntp/2014/ntp_2014_2014-10-13_men_001_en.html

Seasonal adjustment with the Tramo/Seats method used is described also in http://stat.fi/til/tramo_seats_en.html

Documentation on methodology

The general methodological framework for the compilation of national accounts in the EU is ESA 2010.

In addition, several handbooks have been developed to help compilers to produce national accounts data. Some of the most important methodological manuals are the Handbook on quarterly national accounts, Manual on regional accounts methods, Eurostat Manual of Supply, Use and Input-Output Tables, Manual on Government Deficit and Debt. Also, guidance manuals on specific topics are available, e.g. compilation guide on land estimation, compilation guide on inventories, Manual on measuring Research and Development in ESA 2010.

The manuals above specifically apply to EU national accounts statistics. However, world-wide equivalents are often also available: SNA 2008, Quarterly National Accounts Manual, Handbook on Input-Output Table Compilation and Analysis, Government Finance Statistics Manual.

Links to the published national methodological reports by domain/statistics:

-        Quarterly National Accounts: http://stat.fi/til/ntp/men_en.html

-        Annual National Accounts: GNI inventory http://stat.fi/til/vtp/vtp_2015_2016-06-02_men_001_en.html ; Historical time series http://stat.fi/til/vtp/vtp_2013_2013-09-05_men_001_en.html

-        Quarterly Sector Accounts: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/499359/8055980/FI+QSA_inventory_ESA2010.pdf/a5eb8736-0b68-4cbd-b004-6e0659d2a1ac

-        Annual Sector Accounts:  http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/499359/7752836/FI_ASA_inventory_ESA+2010_Oct2015.pdf/af33a5f3-cb78-46a7-a750-7003bc5a9e0b

-        Regional Accounts: http://stat.fi/til/altp/2005/altp_2005_2008-06-30_men_001_en.html (latest updated 2009)

-        EDP: EDP inventory http://stat.fi/til/jali/men_en.html

-        Government revenue, expenditure and main aggregates: Eurostat publication http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3859598/5917333/KS-RA-11-013-EN.PDF/2eb9714a-ee4b-49fe-baab-e9af5ca457b1

-        COFOG: Eurostat publication http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3859598/5917333/KS-RA-11-013-EN.PDF/2eb9714a-ee4b-49fe-baab-e9af5ca457b1

-        Financial Accounts: MIP quality report http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/rtp/men_en.html; Financial Accounts inventory (only in Finnish) http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/rtp/men.html

-        Balance of Payments: MIP quality report http://stat.fi/til/mata/men_en.html

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Economic Statistics

Institutional mandate

National accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) which was published in the Official Journal as Annex A of Regulation (EU) No 549/2013. The ESA 2010 transmission programme is covered in Annex B

The ESA 2010 has the form of a Regulation and it provides for:

Temporary derogations to the data transmission requirements have been granted to Member States, up to 2020, by the Commission Implementing Decision 2014/403/EU of 26 June 2014 thus allowing national data to deviate temporarily from the ESA 2010 transmission requirements.

Some other legal acts with relevance for national accounts concern:

- Commission Decision 98/715 of 30 November 1998 and Commission Decision 2002/990 of 17 December 2002 on measurement of price and volumes in national accounts.

- Legal act on the excessive deficit procedure

Several separate acts, often regarding classifications such as: NACE Rev.2, CPA 2014, COFOG, COICOP, NUTS 2013.

On the Eurostat website, sections 'National accounts'  and 'Government finance and EDP', more legal acts relevant for national accounts can be found.


National statistical legal acts are available at:


Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics. 

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation 

There is no valid legislation or internationally agreed methodology for the compiling of Culture Satellite Accounts.

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable. 

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

Confidentiality - data treatment

The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. The unit-specific data of the calculation data must be kept confidential.

Data are handled only by persons who need the data in their work. The use of data is restricted by usage rights. The statistics are formed by processing a large number of different statistics and other data sources. The aggregation of data in the process, the compilation time evaluation related to data quality, detailed prioritisation of sources and measures related to total level balancing produce an end result that does not enable identification of individual data producers.

All employees compiling the statistics have signed a pledge of secrecy, where they have obliged to keep secret the data prescribed as confidential by virtue of the Statistics Act or the Act on the Openness of Government Activities.


Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland 

Good practice requires that new national accounts data and associated news releases are announced in a release calendar that is published well in advance of the respective releases.

Data sharing

The key data of the culture satellite are published on the web pages of the Culture Satellite Accounts.


In addition to news releases and other publications (see sections on Press release and publications) information on national accounts may be posted using social media.

National Accounts and Balance of Payments web and other publications are available also in English.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.   

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases. 

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service. 

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions. 


The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before. 

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data. 

National accounts data are subject to continuous revisions as new input data become available. They are called routine revisions and entail regular revisions of country data and of the European aggregates, which are derived from the former.

More rarely, exceptional revisions (called benchmark revisions) will result from major changes in data sources, classifications or methodology. For example, when changing from ESA95 to ESA 2010, a benchmark revision occurred at country level and at euro area/EU data level.

Two Task Forces developed proposals for a more harmonised approach for benchmark and routine revisions. The one under the auspices of the Directors of Macroeconomic Statistics (DMES) dealt with benchmark revision policy, the other under the auspices of the Committee on Monetary, Financial, and Balance of Payments Statistics (CMFB) on the European Harmonised Revision Policy dealing with routine revisions. 

Statistics Finland has a revision policy for National Accounts. It is however not yet published on the Finland's statistical office website.

The latest major routine in Finland occurred in 2014 because of the implementation of ESA 2010. The latest benchmark routine in Finland occurred in 2014

Regarding revision policy implementation, the recommended harmonized revision policy is not fully applied in Finland which allows for visible and temporary inconsistencies due to vintage effect. However, present revision policy will be changed in 2019 to implement harmonized revision policy.

User needs

National accounts data provide key information for economic policy monitoring and decision making, for forecasting, for administrative purposes, for informing the general public about economic developments (directly or indirectly via news agencies), and as input for economic research.

At national level, ministries of finance and regional development, scientific and academic communities and economic researchers are usually the entities who most use national and regional accounts data.

International institutions can be considered as “clients” of NSI.

User satisfaction

Statistics Finland regularly follows up and reports of the reactions of the media.

There is a permanent National Accounts Co-operation group (skt-ryhmä). It consists of experts from the main economic forecasting institutions in Finland, Board of Customs’ statistical unit and Helsinki University, and national accounts and balance of payments experts of Statistics Finland. The group meets twice a year to discuss recent or future changes in the data or methodology, or other current issues.

There may be occasional questionnaires for the users of National Accounts to follow up the user needs.

Quality documentation

The importance of national accounts requires that documentation should be available on the procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment. Examples of such documentation are national accounts quality reports, quality studies and reports on revision analysis.


Quality reports are obligatory for all statistics. They are based on national standard and are available on the web page of each statistics.

Quality management

Quality of national accounts data is assured by strict application of ESA 2010 concepts and by applying the guidelines of the ESS handbook for quality reports.

During the overall compilation process, national and regional accounts data undergo several kinds of quality checks, e.g. ex-ante (source statistics), ongoing (results), ex-post (methods used) and external checks (Eurostat, European or national Court of Auditors, IMF).

The quality criteria and practices of Statistics Finland are described at http://tilastokeskus.fi/meta/svt/svt-laatukriteerit_en.html

Quality assessment

The culture satellite is part of the System of National Accounts and applies the same concepts and operating methods. 

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The frameworks complement each other. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. 

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published. 


Further information: Publication principles for statistics 

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data. 

Statistical experts

Katri Soinne
Planning Officer
029 551 2778