Economic operations

Institutional units, interacting with each other, carry out economic transactions among themselves, which are reflected in the SNA. The time of the macroeconomic operation is considered to be the moment of occurrence of the relevant obligations (usually the moment of transfer of ownership is the execution of the order, which may or may not coincide with the moment of payment for the order).

An economic transaction is a transaction between institutional units in which ownership of tangible or financial assets is transferred or services are provided.

Under the SNA, economic transactions can be non-financial (real) if they relate to operations for the production and acquisition of goods and services (for example, the transfer of goods, the movement of income, unpaid transfers), and financial if they imply changes in assets and liabilities, including the exchange of some financial assets for others. Usually, real (non-financial) operations have corresponding financial transactions (purchase of goods for money), but not always. For example, the purchase of securities for money does not provide for the movement of real goods, just as the free supply of medicines to the disaster area does not provide for any financial transactions. Real and financial flows taken together reflect all income and expenditure of institutional units. The balance sheet for non-financial transactions must be equal to the balance sheet for financial transactions. The difference is considered a statistical error.

The SNA covers the economic transactions of all institutional units located in a given country, both among themselves and with the institutional units of other countries. Economic transactions are considered domestic if they take place between institutional units within the same country, and international transactions if they take place between institutional units of several countries. For these purposes, they are divided into residents and non-residents. The SNA records all economic ties between residents and non-residents in a separate account called the balance of payments.

Residents – all institutional units permanently located in the territory of a given country, regardless of their citizenship or ownership of capital.

Residents are: persons permanently residing in a given country; migrant workers, if they have lived in the country for more than a year; government bodies, including their representative offices abroad; enterprises carrying out their economic activities in a given country, even if they are partially or wholly owned by foreign capital.

Non-residents – all institutional units permanently located in the territory of a foreign state, even if they are branches of institutional units of this country.