Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Financial Accounts Guide


Release Highlights

With each Z.1 release, major data and structural revisions are highlighted at the beginning of the publication. This page consolidates these highlights in a searchable format for all releases beginning with 2004q1.

231 entries in Financial Accounts Release Highlights

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Date Highlights Count
2013q4Revaluations, which measure changes in the market value of untraded assets (i.e. unrealized capital gains and losses), can now be separately identified from other changes in volume, which measure discontinuities or breaks in time series due to disaster losses or change in source data or definition. This change aligns the Financial Accounts more closely with the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008). Data for revaluation series will soon be available through the Federal Reserve's Data Download Program (DDP). Other changes in volume can be calculated as the change in the level from one quarter to the next, less the unadjusted flow, less the revaluation. In practice, other changes in volume are relatively rare, and revaluations only occur for series carried at market value. The mnemonic for revaluation series begins with "FR" and the mnemonic for other changes in volume series begins with "FV". These series replace the previous "FD" series (which showed the sum of revaluations and other volume changes). Revaluations and other changes in volume appear on the balance-sheet change tables (R.100, R.102, and R.103) and all Integrated Macroeconomic Tables.1
2013q4Additional detail on life insurance companies is now available on supplementary tables. Financial assets and liabilities held in life insurers' general accounts are shown on tables F.115.g and L.115.g, and those held in separate accounts are shown on tables F.115.s and L.115.s. Data begin in 1997:Q4. General accounts are used to fund contractual obligations that provide a fixed benefit or guaranteed rate of return, such as term life insurance and fixed annuities. Separate accounts are independent from general accounts and are typically used to fund variable life and retirement products.2
2013q4Additional detail on the composition of Treasury securities held by mutual funds has been added to the Treasury securities instrument tables (F.209 and L.209). Treasury bills, considered short-term, are now shown separately from other Treasury securities, such as Treasury notes and bonds. Data begin in 2010:Q4.3
2013q4U.S. savings securities replace savings bonds on the Treasury securities instrument tables (F.209 and L.209) and the federal government sector tables (F.105 and L.105). U.S. savings securities now include U.S. Individual Retirement Bonds, U.S. Retirement Plan Bonds, and U.S. Savings Stamps in addition to U.S. Savings Bonds and Matured U.S. Savings Securities. All U.S. savings securities are owned by households. Household holdings of U.S. savings securities are not shown separately from other holdings of Treasury securities on the household sector tables (F.100, L.100, and B.100).4
2013q4The federal government employee retirement funds' holdings of Treasury securities (tables F.119 and L.119) have been revised down in 1995:Q4, 2011:Q2 and 2013:Q3 to reflect suspended investments in the Thrift Savings Plan G Fund. The G Fund invests exclusively in nonmarketable short-term Treasury securities. Suspending investments in the G Fund is one way that the Treasury manages its cash and borrowing once it has reached the statutory debt limit. The amount of the suspended investments is included in the claim of the pension fund on sponsor (federal government).5
2013q4On table L.213, the memo item "market value of domestic corporations" has been deleted.6
2013q3International banking facilities (IBFs) are now being treated as domestic entities rather than foreign entities, consistent with the residency criteria described in the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) and their treatment in the U.S Balance of Payments statistics. IBFs have been moved from the rest of the world sector (tables F.106 and L.106) to the U.S.-chartered depository institutions (tables F.110 and L.110) and foreign banking offices in U.S. (tables F.111 and L.111) sectors. Instrument categories that were most affected by this shift include time and savings deposits (tables F.205 and L.205), depository instution loans n.e.c. (tables F.215 and L.215), and net interbank transactions (tables F.203 and L.203). Generally, IBFs take deposits from and make loans to foreign customers. Under the previous treatment, these transactions were not included in the Financial Accounts because IBFs were considered a foreign entity. With this change, IBFs are now included with domestic depositories, and therefore their transactions with foreign customers are shown as transactions with the rest of the world sector. Transactions of IBFs with their domestic parents are now netted out of the Financial Accounts; previously these were shown as transactions vis-a-vis foreign affiliates.7
2013q3Additional detail on federal funds and security repurchase agreements is now available (tables F.207 and L.207). Federal funds and security repurchase agreements of the rest of the world and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) sectors, previously shown only as net assets, now shows assets and liabilities separately. This detail is also shown on the sector tables for the rest of the world (tables F.106 and L.106) and GSEs (tables F.123 and L.123).8
2013q3Mutual fund holdings of government securities, which include Treasury and agency- and GSE-backed securities (tables F.121 and L.121), have been reallocated from 2001:Q4 forward to reflect new methodology which incorporates mutual fund portfolio data from the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP).9
2013q2The Z.1 statistical release, previously named Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States, was renamed Financial Accounts of the United States in June 2013. This change reflects the expansion of the publication to include flow of funds data, balance sheets, and Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts. The new title is also better aligned with international terminology. The title of the online Guide has been changed to Guide to the Financial Accounts of the United States.10
2013q2The consumer credit tables (tables F.222 and L.222) have been expanded to include additional detail on student loans. Nonprofit organizations (which are in the households and nonprofit organizations sector) are now shown as a provider of student loans. In addition, a memo item has been added that breaks consumer credit down into four categories: credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and other loans. The series on student loans begins in 2006:Q1. Conforming changes will be reflected in the upcoming G.19 release on October 7, 2013.11
2013q2Asset holdings of state and local governments (tables F.104 and L.104) were revised from 2003:Q3 forward based on improved methodology.12
2013q2Additional detail on real estate investment funds (REITs) (tables F.127 and L.127) is now available on supplementary tables. Equity REITs are shown on tables F.127.e and L.127.e and mortgage REITs are shown separately on tables F.127.m and L.127.m.13
2013q2The statistics in this publication reflect the 2013 comprehensive revision of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA), released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on July 31, 2013, as well as information for 2013:Q2 released by BEA on August 29, 2013. See the August 2013 issue of Survey of Current Business, pages 6-10, for details on the 2013 comprehensive revision. Major related changes to the Financial Accounts of the United States are described in the items below.14
2013q2Data for investment and depreciation flows and capital stocks of all sectors have been revised to reflect BEAs new concept of fixed assets as part of the comprehensive revision. Under the new concept, fixed investment now includes expenditures for research and development and entertainment, literary, and artistic originals. Reflecting this change, a new category called intellectual property products is now shown on tables B.100, B.102, B.103, R.100, R.102, R.103 and in the Integratated Macroeconomic Accounts. The new category includes the two new items plus expenditures on software.15
2013q2Flow tables F.7, F.12, F.104, and F.105 and Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts table S.7.a have been revised to remove the item wage accruals less disbusements. As described in the March 2013 Survey of Current Business, pages 25-26, the BEAs estimates of wages and salaries in personal income have been converted from a disbursement basis to an accrual basis to be consistent with the treatment in GDI and national income.16
2013q2The 2013 comprehensive revision moves the NIPA accounting for defined-benefit (DB) pensions from a cash basis (related to the sponsors funding of the plans) to an accrual basis (related to households earnings of pension benefits). In a conforming change that is also consistent with the international standards recommended in the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008), the Financial Accounts of the United States now account for the level and flow of pension entitlements, which are the present value of accrued DB benefits. Where previously only the assets of DB plans were tracked (and treated as an asset of the household sector), now pension entitlements are shown as an asset of the household sector and as a liability of the pension fund sectors (i.e., private pension funds, state and local government employee retirement funds, and federal government employee retirement funds). The difference between pension entitlements and pension fund assets (i.e., underfunding or overfunding) is now shown as claims of pension fund on sponsor, which is an asset of the pension funds and a liability of the sponsors of the funds (i.e., nonfinancial corporate business, state and local governments, and the federal government). A memo item has been added to the pension-fund levels tables (tables L.116 through L.119), showing the funded status of the DB plans. Because aggregate pension entitlements exceed pension fund assets, the new accounting has led to an upward revision to household net worth relative to the previous publication of the Financial Accounts of the United States. Finally, to summarize the three pension sectors, new tables titled Private and Public Pension Funds (tables F.116 and L.116) have been added, which aggregate the three pension sectors and include memo items reporting household retirement assets in tax-deferred accounts: DB and DC (defined-contribution) pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and annuities at life insurance companies.17
2013q2The table on life insurance and pension reserves (tables F.225 and L.225) has been split into two separate tables. Life insurance reserves are now shown on tables F.225 and L.225 and pension entitlements (rather than pension fund reserves) are now shown on tables F.226 and L.226. The instrument tables that follow have been renumbered. The supplementary tables on IRAs (tables F.225.i and L.225.i) have been renumbered to tables F.226.i and L.226.i.18
2013q2Supplementary table B.100.e has been restructured to conform to the new concept of pension entitlements. Previously, assets of DB pension funds were treated as assets of the household sector. Now, pension entitlements (the actuarial liabilities of DB pension funds) are considered assets of the household sector. As a result, households indirectly held corporate equities no longer include equities held by private, state and local, or federal government DB pension plans. Corporate equities in DC pension plans are still included in households indirectly held corporate equities. The pension entitlements of DB pension plans are included in other financial assets on table B.100.e.19
2013q2Assets of the private pension fund sector (tables F.117, F.117.b, F.117.c, L.117, L.117.b, and L.117.c) have been revised beginning in 2006:Q4 to reflect improved methodology and new data from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service/Department of Labor/Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Form 5500 filed for plan year 2011.20
2013q2Revisions to the rest of the world sector (tables F.106 and L.106) reflect new estimates of the U.S. international tranactions accounts (ITAs) and the U.S. international investment position (IIP) accounts from the BEA for 1999 through 2012. The new estimates are detailed in the July 2013 Survey of Current Business.21
2013q2Seasonal factors for quarterly flows have been recalculated for the period 2003:Q1 forward. The seasonal factors were generated using the X-12-ARIMA seasonal adjustment program by the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, beginning in 2007 seasonal factors have been set to zero for a select number of series where the unadjusted flow series are no longer being published by BEA.22
2013q2Series mnenomonics for the change in unadjusted level, previously beginning with FR, now begin with FC. These series appear primarily on the reconciliation tables (R.100, R.102, and R.103) and the Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts tables.23
2013q1Financial Accounts of the United States: The Z.1 statistical release, previously named Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States, has been renamed Financial Accounts of the United States. This change reflects the growing variety of financial data included in this publication, including flow of funds, balance sheets, and Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts, and is more aligned with international terminology. The term "Flow of Funds Accounts" will be gradually transitioned to "Financial Accounts" on the Federal Reserve Board's website.24
2013q1Publication redesign: The cover and introductory material for the Z.1 has been redesigned to enhance usablity and to modernize the style of the publication. "Release Highlights" are now shown separately from "Explanatory Notes" to make new developments and data revisions more accessible to our users. The explanatory notes section has been rewritten to address common questions and methodological information about the accounts.25
2013q1Organization of data tables: Data tables have been organized into the following six sections identified by colored tabs: Summary (red), Flows (yellow), Levels (orange), Balance Sheets (blue), Supplements (green), and Integrated Accounts (purple). The flow of funds matrixes have been moved to the front of the summary section. Flow and level credit market debt summary tables, tables corresponding to Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) national income and product account tables, and the personal savings tables are also included in the summary section.26
2013q1Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts (IMAs): Annual tables for the Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts, which are jointly produced with BEA, are now included in this statistical release. These tables have previously been published on BEA's website and in the Flow of Funds online Guide. Quarterly and annual data beginning in 1960 are available for download through the Federal Reserve's Data Download Program (DDP).27
2013q1Nonfinancial corporate business sector benchmark: Assets of the nonfinancial corporate business sector (tables F.102, L.102, B.102, and R.102) have been revised from 2011:Q1 forward, to reflect new advance data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Statistics of Income (SOI) for 2011.28
2013q1Rest of the world quarterly data on International Investment Position: Data for the rest of the world sector (tables F.106 and L.106) have been revised beginning in 2005:Q4 to incorporate newly available quarterly data on the International Investment Position (IIP) from BEA. Previously, IIP data were only available on an annual basis.29
2013q1Credit union revisions: The credit union sector (tables F.113 and L.113) has been revised back to 2010:Q4 to reflect improved methodology regarding investments held by natural person credit unions and corporate credit unions. A new asset category, municipal securities, is now shown.30
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Last update: March 6, 2014