Concepts and definitions

Consolidated financial balance/flows

Financial assets and liabilities can be presented in consolidated form, i.e., after elimination of intra-sectorial transactions within sub-sectors (e.g. debts between municipalities) and between sub-sectors (including municipalities' debts to the state, employment pension corporations and other social security institutions within the general government sector). Consolidated data only show the relative positions of the sectors.


ESA95 manual on government deficit and debt, the updated manual on the European system of national and regional accounts.

Financial account

Financial balance sheets show intersectorial lending and borrowing relationships, i.e. each sector's debts to other sectors, as well as its receivables from other sectors. One sector's debt is another sector's receivable.

Financial balance sheets are classified into seven main categories which are subdivided into subcategories. The classification is consistent with the classification of financial transactions.

Financial account

The sector's financial account (i.e. financial transactions account) is a financial balance sheet that shows the sector's financial assets and liabilities as well as changes brought about through financial transactions. This gives a comprehensive view of the financial balances and flows of the total economy.

Financial accounts

The system of financial accounts (i.e. the financial accounting system) shows the financial assets and liabilities of the different sectors of the economy, as well as financial transactions that have an impact on these financial assets and liabilities. The financial accounts consist of 1) the financial balance at the end of the year, and 2) a record of the financial transactions involving financial assets and liabilities during the year. The financial accounts are part of the national accounts.

The financial accounts are statistical tables which are based on other financial statistics as well as e.g. sector statistics containing data on balances and flows.

Financial assets

Financial assets are economic assets, comprising means of payment, financial claims and economic assets which are close to financial claims in nature.

Financial claims entitle their owners, the creditors, to receive a payment or series of payments without any counter-performance from other institutional units, the debtors, who have incurred the counterpart liabilities.

Seven categories of financial assets are distinguished: monetary gold and special drawing rights (AF.1), currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares (AF.3), loans (AF.4), shares and other equity (AF.5), insurance technical reserves (AF.6) and other accounts receivable/payable (AF.7).

Financial assets category

The financial assets category includes all financial instruments that are described in the financial accounts.

The main classification criteria are the asset's liquidity and the laws that regulate its use. The asset must correspond to an unconditional liability; contingent assets are included only if they have a market value or can be offset against other liabilities.

Financial deficit

Net borrowing, i.e. negative net lending.

Financial liabilities

Financial liabilities are economic liabilities that are categorised in the same manner as financial assets. Liabilities represent the counterpart of assets, i.e., an asset of one sector is always recorded as a liability of another sector.

Financial transactions

Financial transactions are transactions in financial assets and liabilities between institutional units, and between them and the rest of the world.

The item shows which sectors are net lenders and which sectors are net borrowers, and provides information on debtor/creditor relationships.

Financial transactions are classified into seven main categories, which are subdivided into subcategories. The classification is consistent with the classification of financial assets and liabilities.

Financial transactions, net

The item "financial transactions, net" represents the difference between net acquisitions of financial assets and net acquisition of financial liabilities. A sector is a net lender if it accumulates financial assets in excess of the amount of new debt incurred during the year. The concept corresponds to the concept of net lending/borrowing in the national accounts.

General government

The term "general government" in ESA 2010 denotes the public sector and includes central government, (federal) constituent states, local government, and social security funds. The Finnish general government sector includes the State, municipalities and intermunicipal authorities, the regional government of the Åland Islands, and social security funds. Unincorporated market producer enterprises owned by the state or municipalities are not included. The state sector includes the state budget economy and extra-budgetary funds.

Social security funds include all institutional units that administer the statutory social security system, such as the Social Insurance Institution, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, funds that manage unemployment and disability schemes, as well as companies, pension institutions, pension funds and public institutions (e.g. the Local Government Pensions Institution) that manage statutory employment pension insurance schemes. Finnish employment pension institutions are classified into the general government sector according to a decision given by the European Commission in January of 1997.

Not included in employment pension institutions are funds and foundations that manage voluntary pension. Prior to the statistical year 2000 these so-called "A" pension funds and foundations and the "A" parts of "AB" pension funds and foundations could not be separately itemised from data gathered from employment pension institutions.

General government finances

The general government sector consists of state budget economy (on-budget activities) and extra-budgetary funds (off-budget activities).

Net acquisition of debt

Net amount of debt incurred during a specific period of time.

Net acquisition of financial assets

Net amount of financial assets acquired during a specific period of time.

Net lending/borrowing

Net lending/borrowing is described by the balancing item "financial transactions, net" on the financial account. It shows the difference between the sector's net acquisitions of financial assets and its net acquisitions of financial liabilities. The sector is a net lender, if its acquisitions of financial assets during the year exceed its acquisitions of financial liabilities during the same year.

Non-consolidated financial balance/flows

Financial assets and liabilities can be presented in non-consolidated form, i.e. all transactions are shown in full, including intra-sectorial and intra-sub-sectorial transactions. Intra-sectorial transactions in sectors consisting of a single institutional unit are nevertheless eliminated (e.g. borrowing within the central government sector). Intra-sectorial transactions do not have any impact on the sector's net worth or net lending.

Statistical discrepancy

The statistical discrepancy shows the difference between net lending in financial accounts and net lending in national accounts. Although net lending on the real side and net lending on the financial side are identical by definition, there is usually a statistical discrepancy between the two items. These two items are not forced to be identical in the Finnish national accounts system.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): General government financial accounts [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-1964. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.11.2014].
Access method:

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