The national accounts are a system of macroeconomic accounting enabling a vast amount of statistical information to be gathered together in a coherent framework and macroeconomic aggregates to be inferred from that are used to assess the state of the Belgian economy. A multitude of statistical data are thus collected and aggregated. These data sources, most of which are available on an individual basis, may consist of administrative data, like the annual accounts of companies, VAT returns and NSSO data, or information extracted from surveys, such as the structural business survey and the household budget survey.
The European methodology, developed in close cooperation with the Member States, assures on the one hand that economic reality is reflected as well as possible in the macroeconomic statistics and, on the other hand, that these are compiled according to a high standard of quality. Moreover, as the statistics for the different Member States are based on common concepts, international comparability is strengthened.
In Belgium, as in all EU countries, the national accounts are compiled in accordance with the definitions of the "European System of National and Regional Accounts" (ESA).