Cause-and-effect relationships between the most important sectors of economic activity are usually expressed through the System of National Accounts (SNA) developed by international organizations.
The system of national accounts is a set of internationally recognized rules for accounting for economic activity, reflecting all major macroeconomic relations, including the interaction of national and international economies.
The SNA is a guide for the vast majority of countries in the world in compiling macroeconomic reporting, analyzing the current economic situation and developing forecasts of economic development. It has the following characteristics: the SNA is applicable to any country in the modern world, regardless of its level of socio-economic development; the SNA connects different types of economic activity over a certain period of time; the SNA is used at different levels of aggregation: the level of an institutional unit (economic agents), a group of institutional units (branches) or the economy as a whole; The SNA provides international comparability of economic information by relying on internationally agreed definitions, classifications and reporting rules; The SNA is used for current economic analysis and strategic decision-making in the field of economic policy.
The basis of accounting in the SNA is an institutional unit that acts as an economic agent in the performance of economic transactions.
An institutional unit is an economic agent that can own goods and assets, have economic obligations, and transact with other agents on its own behalf.
The SNA distinguishes between two main types of institutional units – natural persons (households) and legal entities (enterprises). Legal entities are further divided into those that are engaged in production, and government agencies.
Within the framework of the SNA, all institutional units are grouped into five groups, which, in fact, are the main sectors of economic activity, considered on the basis of the economic agents operating in them. These include:
Non-financial corporations are institutional units engaged in the production of goods for the market and non-financial services (enterprises). The non-financial corporation is the basic institutional unit of the real sector; Households are all natural persons who operate in the economy, sell their labor power, produce and consume market goods and services. Households are the institutional unit of the real sector; Non-profit institutions – legal entities that are engaged in the provision of non-market services to households and are based on the voluntary participation of individuals. Non-profit institutions – an institutional unit of the real sector; Government agencies are institutional units that, in addition to performing their political and economic regulatory functions, are engaged in the production of non-market goods and services for individual or collective consumption and the redistribution of income. Government agencies (ministries), including government funds (social security), are the basic institutional unit of the government sector; Financial corporations are institutional units (banks, financial companies) that carry out financial intermediation or ancillary financial services. A financial corporation is the basic institutional unit of the monetary sector.