National Accounts at a Glance 2009

image of National Accounts at a Glance 2009

National Accounts data is more than just GDP.  This book, to be published annually, and its related database present national accounts in a way that reflects the richness inherent in the data and the value that represents for analysts and policymakers.  It responds to the Stiglitz Commission’s recommendation that policymakers look beyond GDP to get a fuller picture of the entire economy.


In particular it uses national accounts data to show important findings about households and governments, including important new series on gross adjusted household income and non-financial fixed assets of households. It presents each of the series on a two-page spread, with the page on the left providing information on the meaning, usage, and comparability of the data and the page on the right presenting data from 1995 onwards for the OECD countries as well as graphics highlighting differences among countries.

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.



Financial Assets and Liabilities

The amount of financial assets and liabilities held by government has significant political and economic importance. The assets reflect a source of additional income available to government and a source of funds that it can draw on without necessarily increasing liabilities, for example as an additional lever to protect its currency when money markets exert prohibitive upward pressure on bond yields say. The liabilities reflect the debts accumulated by government and, so, provide an indication of the structural nature of debt interest payments (which add to government deficit). This matters because, in general, the higher the liabilities the higher the perceived risk of default (and therefore the higher the risk premium required by the market). Typically, this cycle can eventually force governments to either cut spending or raise taxes. General government gross debt’s importance, and, in particular, the importance of sustainable levels of debt, is reflected in the European Maastricht criteria, where it is one of the two measures referred to in the Excessive Deficit Procedure.


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