National Accounts at a Glance presents information using an "indicator" approach, focusing on cross-country comparisons; the aim being to make the national accounts more accessible and informative, whilst, at the same time, taking the opportunity to present the conceptual underpinning of, and comparability issues inherent in, each of the indicators presented.
This book includes OECD's unique StatLink service, which enables readers to download Excel® versions of tables and graphs. Look for the StatLink at the foot of each table and graph.
The range of indicators reflects the richness inherent in the national accounts dataset and encourages users to refocus some of the spotlight that is often placed on GDP to other economic important indicators, which may better respond to their needs. The publication is broken down into six key chapters, and provides indicators related to income, expenditure, production, government and capital respectively.
- 31 Dec 2011
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Disposable income, as a concept, is closer to the concept of income generally understood in economics, than either national income or GDP. At the total economy level it differs from national income in that additional income items are included, mainly other current transfers such as remittances. For countries where these additional items form significant sources of income the importance of focusing on disposable income in formulating policy is clear. For OECD countries the differences between national and disposable income at the total economy level are typically insignificant. But another very important difference between national income and disposable income concerns the allocation of income across sectors. At this level significant differences arise. In the main these reflect the reallocation of national income: from corporations and households to government, on account of income taxes; from households to government to reflect social contributions; and, from government and corporations to households to reflect social benefits other than social transfers in kind. It is mainly this reallocation of income that brings the concept of income closer to the economic concept. Indeed, ignoring, for simplicity, changes in net worth that arise from capital transfers or holding gains say, disposable income can be seen as the maximum amount that a unit can afford to spend on consumption goods or services without having to reduce its financial or non-financial assets or by increasing its liabilities.