8.3 Quarterly estimation methods and data sources

8.34 When possible, quarterly estimates are built using monthly and quarterly information from government accounting systems, reports, financial statements and surveys. When quarterly source information is not available, quarterly indicators are used to estimate the series from benchmark and non-benchmark years or to establish quarterly values from annual values.

Federal government

8.35 For benchmark and non-benchmark years, federal government estimation is done separately for the budgetary and extra-budgetary parts of the sub-sector. For the budgetary part, the procedure and data sources are exactly the same. For the extra-budgetary part, estimates are also prepared in the same way as for benchmark and non-benchmark years, the only difference being the increasing difficulty in obtaining source information for some component entities. In these cases, values are estimated from the most currently available period.

Provincial and territorial government

8.36 Quarterly estimates for provincial and territorial governments expenditure on (and sales of) goods and services are developed from a variety of source information, varying widely across jurisdictions: l'Institut de la Statistique du Québec provides estimates based on Government of Quebec accounting-system information, other provinces submit monthly and quarterly information from their government accounting systems while estimates for some components and jurisdictions have to be compiled from official budget estimates and other published and un-published information.

8.37 For hospitals, residential care facilities, other health and social institutions, universities and colleges, quarterly data on operating expenditures and sales on goods and services are estimated from earlier periods, based on related labour income series.

Local government

8.38 Quarterly estimates are projected from earlier periods, based on related labour income series.

Canada and Quebec pension plans

8.39 Administrative expenditures of the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan are obtained from the quarterly accounting statements of the plans.

Table 8.5 Government current expenditure on goods and services in the Provincial Economic Accounts, 2000. Opens in a new browser window.

Table 8.5
Government current expenditure on goods and services in the Provincial Economic Accounts, 2000

8.40 Table 8.5 provides estimates of government current expenditures on goods and services by province and territory. These estimates are published annually in the Provincial Economic Accounts (PEA).

8.41 Provincial, territorial and local government estimates of current expenditure on goods and services are built-up by province and territory when preparing national estimates. As described in paragraphs 8.23 to 8.33, this is done using information from the public accounts of the provinces and territories, various financial statements and surveys conducted by Statistics Canada.

8.42 The federal government estimate must be allocated geographically. From one point of view, some operations of the central government cannot be divided among the provinces, for example, Parliament, the Bank of Canada and Statistics Canada are all indivisible in that they are equally attributable to all Canadians regardless of where the Parliament Buildings stand, where monetary policy is conducted or where the Census results are tabulated. Other activities could be allocated more easily: harbours, passport sales and the salaries of most Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers all have very specific geographic locations associated with them. Still other expenditures could be distributed in more than a single way: the purchases of particular supplies or equipment could be allocated on a procurement basis (where it was sold), a purchasing basis (where it was bought) or a consumption basis (where it was used).

8.43 As discussed in the concepts part of this chapter, the value of government-produced goods and services resembles approximately the cost of its inputs. In the Provincial Economic Accounts, the value of the goods and services produced by the federal government is distributed by province and territory, following the original concept used to estimate that value.

8.44 The current expenditure on goods and services of the federal government sub-sector can be broken down into about 60% for wages, salaries and supplementary labour income, 10% for consumption of capital and 30% for other current goods and services. Each of these different types of expenditure is distributed geographically using the same concept but a different method.

8.45 Wages, salaries and supplementary labour income are distributed geographically on the basis of employment, for example, where employees work. However, the provincial distribution of capital consumption allowances (CCA) is a function of the distribution of the capital stock of the federal government. The Investment and Capital Stock Division estimates investment in fixed capital, the capital stock and the CCA for the federal government on a provincial and territorial basis at replacement cost.

8.46 Other non-wage expenditure on goods and services is allocated by province and territory where the goods and services were consumed in production. This distribution is based on information obtained by the Industry Accounts Division for the various components of the federal government sub-sector. The following two examples demonstrate the allocation process used for non-wage goods and services:

  • Suppose uniforms for all RCMP officers are produced in Ontario and purchased by the Government of Canada. In the Provincial Economic Accounts the associated expenditure would be allocated not to Ontario, where the uniforms were produced, but, instead, to the provinces where the uniforms were used by RCMP officers in producing government goods and services (law enforcement).
  • Another example is the acquisition of the submarine HMCS1 Victoria. The vessel was purchased from non-residents (the United Kingdom) and is based in British Columbia. Although the service produced by the government (defence) is consumed by all Canadians in the Provincial Economic Accounts, the expenditure is allocated to British Columbia because that is where the submarine is used in production.


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