The System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) is a statistical framework that provides a comprehensive, consistent and flexible set of macroeconomic accounts for policymaking, analysis and research purposes. It has been produced and is released under the auspices of the United Nations, the European Commission, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. It represents an update, mandated by the United Nations Statistical Commission in 2003, of the System of National Accounts, 1993, which was produced under the joint responsibility of the same five organizations. Like earlier editions, the 2008 SNA reflects the evolving needs of its users, new developments in the economic environment and advances in methodological research.

A working group, comprising representatives of each of our organizations, managed and coordinated the work. National statistical offices and central banks from countries throughout the world made valuable contributions. Expert groups carried out research on the issues being reviewed. An advisory expert group was established to provide expert opinions from a broad range of countries. During the update work, the recommendations and the updated text were posted on the website of the United Nations Statistics Division for worldwide comment, thereby achieving full transparency in the process.

The 2008 SNA is intended for use by all countries, having been designed to accommodate the needs of countries at different stages of economic development. It also provides an overarching framework for standards in other domains of economic statistics, facilitating the integration of these statistical systems to achieve consistency with national accounts. At its fortieth session, the Statistical Commission unanimously adopted the 2008 SNA as the international statistical standard for national accounts. We encourage all countries to compile and report their national accounts on the basis of the 2008 SNA as soon as possible.

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