Overview:

  • material flow accounts record the total mass of natural resources and products that are used by the economy
  • data is based on information published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the British Geological Survey and the Food and Agriculture Organisation
  • data cover the UK as a whole; there are currently no estimates at a regional level
  • material flows data are available from 1970 onwards from a variety of external sources

Material flow accounts record the total mass of natural resources and products that are used by the economy, either directly in the production and distribution of products and services, or indirectly through the movement of materials that are displaced in order for production to take place.

Material flow statistics are updated annually to include the most recent information from a range of different sources. The data are used to provide information for policy makers and analysts.

The main users of material flows data within government include the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) who use Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) as a sustainable development and consumption indicator.

Data are compiled in accordance with SEEA 2003, which closely follows national accounting standards set out in the United Nations System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA 93) and the Eurostat handbook on material flow accounting.

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