Understanding National Accounts

Second Edition

image of Understanding National Accounts

This second edition of Understanding National Accounts, that provides a comprehensive explanation of how national accounts are compiled, contains new data and new chapters, and is adapted to the new systems of national accounts, SNA 2008 and ESA 2010, that came into effect in September 2014. It approaches national accounts from a truly global perspective, with special chapters dedicated to international comparisons, globalisation and well-being as well as to the national systems used in major OECD economies, such as the United States.

Each chapter of the manual uses practical examples to explain key concepts in national accounts in a clear and accessible way. And, each chapter concludes with a synthesis of key points covered in the chapter, followed by resources for further exploring the topic, and by a set of exercises to test your knowledge. It is an ideal guide to national accounts for students and other interested readers.

English Also available in: Spanish

International comparisons

This chapter examines the comparison of national accounts data among several countries. Cross-country comparisons are more difficult because: the statistical methods for estimating national accounts variables can vary from one country to another; countries’ national institutions may be different; and countries do not have the same currency and the same price levels. Nevertheless, such comparisons can be made, even if in some cases adjustments are to be made. They are achieved by comparing: the growth rates of certain variables (such as GDP in volume), certain ratios (such as the profit rate or the public debt ratio) and the absolute levels of certain national variables among several countries (such as the level of GDP per capita).




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