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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The household account

A household is a group of people collectively taking responsibility to feed and house themselves. A household can consist of a single person or of two or more people living under the same roof, these people generally being linked by family ties. However, there are also “institutional households” consisting of, for example, members of the armed forces living in a barracks or on board a ship, people detained in prison, or nuns living in a convent. National accounts make no distinction between these different categories of “household”, and they are all lumped together in what is known as the “household sector”, carrying the code S14. In practice, however, the bulk of the household sector consists of families.


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