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Definition: Quarterly economic accounts

ESA 1995

The quarterly economic accounts form an integral part of the system of national accounts and amongst other uses, are very important for the analysis of the current year and calculation of provisional estimates for the last year. The quarterly economic accounts constitute a coherent set of transactions, accounts and balancing items, defined in both non-financial and financial domain, recorded on a quarterly basis. They adopt the same principles, definitions and structure as the annual accounts, subject to certain modifications, due to the period of time covered. 

The importance of quarterly economic accounts derives essentially from the consideration that they are the only coherent set of indicators, available with a short time-lag, able to provide a short term overall picture of both non-financial and financial economic activity.
Eurostat, "European System of Accounts - ESA 1995", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1996