Understanding National Accounts

image of Understanding National Accounts

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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The essential macroeconomic aggregates

In this first chapter, our aim is to give an initial definition of the essential macroeconomic variables, listed in the table below, and taken from the OECD Economic Outlook for December 2004.1 We have chosen to illustrate this chapter using the example of Germany, but we might as well have chosen any other OECD country, since the structure of the country chapters in the OECD Economic Outlook is the same for all countries.


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