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Definition of concepts

Trade balance with foreign countries
The materials, goods or products purchased are shipped from or to foreign countries.
Physical trade balance
Difference between imports and exports of materials (raw materials, goods and products). There are two kinds: the physical trade balance with the rest of the State and the physical trade balance with foreign countries.
Physical trade balance with foreign countries
The materials, goods or products purchased are shipped from or to the Spanish State.
Domestic material consumption
Accounting derivative resulting from the sum total of domestic extraction and the physical trade balance Quantifies the materials used directly in the economy.
Domestic extraction
Sum total of the raw materials extracted from the Catalan ecosystems, expressed in physical terms, to be used as input material in the economic system.
Material productivity
Indicator resulting from dividing the GDP between the domestic material consumption. This is a tool for evaluating the progress of the economy towards lesser dependence on material resources. High productivity reflects an economy with low resource use, based on knowledge, services and the efficiency of the resource uses. The results are expressed in €/kg.

Methodological aspects

The Material Flow Accounts show the physical inputs that enter the economy from the environment or other economic systems and the outputs that are heading towards other economies or the natural environment. Therefore, it describes the interaction of an economy with the environments and with economies from the rest of the world. In this way we can determine the dependencies and deficiencies of an economic system and, at the same time, the impacts that it generates on the environment.

The magnitudes included in the Material Flow Account are expressed in tonnes and refer to the calendar year. All the materials used by the economy are accounted for, except water and air, as they represent an enormous mass and their prevalence could dilute the effect of the others.

Analysing the material flows that circulate through an economic system enables us to measure the physical dimension of a society’s resource use and to search for solutions to their environmental impact.

This methodology produces indicators that provide an overview of the physical dimension of the economy and its evolution, based on the accounting of the materials that come in and out of the economic system.

Unavailable information is represented using the symbol ":". When the value is lower than that of the minimum unit to be able to estimate the statistical operation or if it effects statistical confidentiality, the symbol used is "..".