Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff members and are published to elicit comment and to encourage debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011
Thomas Alexander, Claudia Dziobek, Marco Marini, Eric Metreau, and Michael Stanger
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
To derive real GDP, the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) recommends a technique called double deflation. Some countries use single deflation techniques, which fail to capture important relative price changes and introduce estimation errors in official GDP growth. We simulate the effects of single deflation to the GDP data of eight countries that use double deflation. We find that errors due to single deflation can be significant, but their magnitude and direction are not systematic over time and across countries. We conclude that countries still using single deflation should move to double deflation.