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 national accounts machinery

Compilation and reporting

Previous chapters concentrated on the definitions of the variables in the national accounts. This chapter is quite different; its aim is to explain how national accounts are compiled in practice and to describe the main consequences of this process for the user. We will start by discussing the quarterly accounts; then we will examine the relationship between quarterly national accounts and annual national accounts. Finally, we will look at ordinary revisions and comprehensive revisions in the national accounts. The example used will be France, but the lessons to be learned apply also to other countries.


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