Understanding National Accounts

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This manual explains what GDP and GNI and their components are and what they mean. It shows how they are used and what they are used for. And it does this in an easily understood way. Opening with a chapter showing how national accounts concepts relate to macroeconomics, the books goes on to systematically deal with volume and prices, international comparability, production, final uses, household accounts, business accounts, government accounts, and financial accounts. It also has chapter on how national accounts data are gathered and the history of the national accounts system. Three special chapters examine national accounts in China, India, and the United States. Previously published only in French, this manual has been revised and expanded to have a truly global perspective. 

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China's national accounts

With more than 1.25 billion inhabitants, China’s population dwarfs that of all other countries except India. According to the World Bank estimates shown in Figure 1 below, China is also an economic giant, with a GDP in 2004 second only to that of the United States. China’s GDP is shown as more than one and a half times bigger than that of the next largest country – Japan – and its GDP is larger than those of Germany, the United Kingdom and France combined. Question: how reliable are the numbers for China in Figure 1?


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