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Definition: Classification of Branches of the National Economy


The Classification of Branches of the National Economy (CBNE) is an activity classification developed in the early sixties in order to ensure comparability of the data compiled by the COMECON Member States. The CBNE played an important role within the framework of the statistical system of the COMECON.

The CBNE represents a grouping of homogeneous types of activities, reflecting the results of the social division of labour which has shaped up in the economies of the CMEA member countries at the present stage of their development as well as the place of individual types of activity in the system of expanded socialist reproduction. The classification provides for the basic division of the economy, namely its division into two spheres of activity: the sphere of material production and the non-productive sphere.

The criterion determining the sphere of material production is the productive nature of labour through which man affects nature to satisfy his requirements, i.e. labour applied to  produce products and labour consumed in the sphere of circulation (transport, turnover of goods) which is the continuation and completion of the process of production. The sphere of material production is one where the process is under way of producing material benefits with the aim of providing society with means of production and consumer goods.

The non-productive sphere embraces activities to produce non-material cultural, everyday-life and public services to meet specific needs of both each individual and society as a whole.

The classification identifies three levels (stages) of activity grouping: national economy sectors denoted by two-digit codes; sub-sectors of national economy denoted by four-digit codes; groups within some of the sectors and sub-sectors denoted by six-digit codes. This applies chiefly to industry in whose most sub-sectors are identified.