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IBGE brings together and trains regional statistical offices to start work on changing the base year of the System of Regional Accounts

Section: Economic Statistics | Carmen Nery

May 15, 2024 05h17 PM | Last Updated: May 16, 2024 06h43 PM

Rebeca Palis, coordinator of National Accounts, highlights the need for expansion and stability of regional teams - Photo: Márcio Costa/IBGE News Agency

The IBGE brought together, between the 6th and 10th of May, 65 representatives of state and municipal bodies producing statistical data in order to train them for the work of reviewing the System of Regional Accounts, following the review process of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The IBGE will have to revise the System of National Accounts (SCN) following the recommendations of international statistical bodies – United Nations (UN), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Eurostat.

Revisions are carried out every ten years, so that the calculation reflects changes in the economy. In Brazil, the last revisions took place for the base years of 2000 and 2010 and should have been carried out in 2020, but the pandemic caused the choice of 2020 as a reference, to be changed to 2021.

Rebeca Palis, coordinator of National Accounts, informs that technicians will seek to follow the recommendations of the new UN manual – System of National Accounts (SNA) –, scheduled to be released in 2025. Among other initiatives, the new manual introduces measurements linked to the environment, digital economy, the extraction of natural resources, inequality and well-being.

The event fostered the training of state teams - Photo: Márcio Costa/IBGE News Agency

The review will also cover the System of Regional Accounts (SRA), as it is the seminar's focus, which took stock of the 25 years of publication of the regional GDP. The SRA has been developed by the IBGE since the 1990s, in partnership with state statistical offices, state government departments and the Manaus Free Trade Zone Superintendence (Suframa).

Alessandra Poça, regional accounts manager, explains that, in the 1990s, the demand for regional socioeconomic information increased, influenced by the Federal Constitution of 1988, which sought to give greater responsibility and autonomy to local authorities in the management of tax resources for the implementation of policies of regional development.

“I recognize the importance of this project, which involves cooperation between the IBGE, the State Research Bodies or the Planning Secretariat and the Manaus Free Trade Zone Superintendence (SUFRAMA)”, said João Hallak Neto, IBGE's Deputy Director of Surveys, who represented the Director of Surveys, Elizabeth Hypólito.

He highlighted that the number of qualified users and researchers who demand this type of information is extremely significant and this is an evidence of the excellence of what is produced by all partners. “This cooperation, which began in 1999, continues to face yet another new challenge, which is changing the system's base year. A cooperation that reveals the success of the project. Combined with the challenge of updating the base, we also have the challenge of moving towards new sources of information, which is a fundamental proposal of this first Meeting”, highlighted Mr. Hallak.

Rebeca Palis says that although the SRA was first published in 1999, the work had began a few years earlier. The seminar represents the beginning of the mobilization for the review of accounts with 2021 as the base year. “Every ten years we carry out a major review of the accounts systems in which we change classification, concepts, data sources and update the systems in compliance with international recommendations. This reformulation must be carried out across the entire accounting system”, highlights Ms. Palis.

25 years of Regional Accounts

The SRA project began in May 1996, during the IV National Statistics Conference (CONFEST), in Rio de Janeiro, with the IBGE being asked to develop a methodology compatible with that adopted by the System of National Accounts System (SNA), keeping spatial and time comparability among the Federation Units (FUs).

In 1999, the first release of the SRA was made (1985 – 1997 series) and it began with the participation of 16 state teams. From 2006 to 2017, all 27 FUs participated in the project. “When a FU is not able to participate in the project, the IBGE is responsible for making its estimate”, informs regional accounts manager Alessandra Poça.

Alessandra Poça, regional accounts manager, highlights the importance of the validation carried out by state statistical offices - Photo: Márcio Costa/IBGE News Agency

In May 2000, at the National Meeting of Regional Accounts, the states that calculated the Municipal GDP presented their methodologies. In September, the 1st Meeting on the Municipal GDP project was held. It would be up to the IBGE to prepare a methodological proposal based on the compatibility of existing methodologies.

In 2006, the last year of the SRA and GDP of the Municipalities was released with 1985 as the base year, with 1985-2004 for the SRA and 1998-2004 for the GDP of the Municipalities. The following year, the review of the System of Brazilian Accounts was published. The SRA and GDP of the Municipalities had 2002 as a base year. From this release onwards, the SRA added IBGE annual economic surveys. This series ended in 2014 with the release having 2012 as its base year.

In 2015, a new review of the Brazilian Accounting System was released, now with 2010 as the base year. Furthermore, the SRA began to estimate the GDP from the income perspective, when previously it had estimated it only from a production perspective. An IT system was also implemented to compile estimates.

In 2018, the publication of the GDP of the Municipalities began to count on the collaboration of the IBGE Directorate of Geosciences. “In 2019, the project completed 20 years of uninterrupted dissemination. More than 100 people participated in the project over the years”, reinforces Ms. Poça.

Rebeca Palis, coordinator of national accounts, highlights that the participation of states helps with local validation and it would be a challenge for the IBGE to carry out the calculations for 27 Federation Units with a very small team. “We try to understand the realities of each state, but the local body is essential because it looks at your state in detail. Their criticism and validation is very important, especially because they sometimes bring in external sources for criticism. We had the training during the week because the state teams have a lot of changes. It is essential that we raise awareness among state governments about the need to maintain the teams. In national accounts it is necessary to have experience, because we measure the economy as a whole and it is necessary to have broader knowledge. The stability and expansion of teams is important”, highlighted Ms. Palis.

She claims that all economic changes identified in the SNA will be assessed in the way they affected states. According to the base year review schedule, in 2026 the first publication will take place, referring to the year 2024, of the new series with 2021 as the base year. “IBGE’s regional accounts work is an international reference. The partnership allowed comparability between states, because before that each one made their own calculations”, highlights the national accounts coordinator.

The seminar was well received by participants. Carlos Henrique Cândido de Souza, advisor to the Institute of Socioeconomic and Cartographic Studies of Maranhão (Imesc), highlighted that the event aims at bringing together all research institutes and planning departments from the states that participate and discuss regional accounting systems. “Each state institute participates in a subsidiary way in the National Accounting System and supports the IBGE in these moments of reviewing accounts and monitoring the situation in each state. These state experts have a more in-depth view of the local system”, says Henrique Souza.

Bruna Mendes Dias, economist at the Secretariat of Environment, Development, Science, Technology and Innovation of Mato Grosso do Sul, says that the secretariat seeks to validate the work carried out by the IBGE for regional accounts in accordance with the state's production system. She highlights that the state's economic profile has been changing over the last 12 years. “The state has a strong agricultural profile. The production systems for soybeans, corn and the livestock production chain are already consolidated, but we are gradually moving towards agribusiness, mainly forestry products such as pulp,” says Ms. Dias.

Natacha Porto de Souza, statistics manager at the Secretariat of Development, Science, Technology and Innovation of Amazonas (Sedecti), informs that the secretariat analyzes IBGE data collected in the state. “We work in partnership throughout the year so that we can publish our data together with the IBGE in November. In Amazonas, a major change is taking place in the agricultural sector with the growth of soybean cultivation, especially after 2020. And we have the industrial part in the Free Zone. The state has been investing a lot in the bioeconomy”, says Natacha de Souza.

The event brought together 65 representatives from state secretariats and statistical bodies to begin the GDP review work - Photo: Márcio Costa/IBGE News Agency

Adrielli Santana, coordinator of Economic Analysis and Regional Accounts at the Federal District Research and Statistics Institute (IPEDF), participates as an active member of the project to review the System of Regional Accountsand highlights that the work aims at incorporating changes in the economic structure to the calculation of the GDP. “In addition, it aims at adding new methodologies and database updates. The IBGE is largely responsible for the methodology and the state teams participate in data editing and analysis, as they are the regional partners who know the local reality”, she concludes.

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