- International Monetary Fund
- Published Date:
- August 2007
The System of Macroeconomic Accounts Statistics
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
The views expressed in this pamphlet, including any legal aspects, are those of the author and should not be attributed to Executive Directors of the IMF or their national authorities.
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The following conventions are used in this publication:
In tables, a blank cell indicates “not applicable,” ellipsis points (…) indicate “not available,” and 0 or 0.0 indicates “zero” or “negligible.” Minor discrepancies between sums of constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.
An en dash (–) between years or months (for example, 1998–99 or January–June) indicates the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months; a slash or virgule (/) between years or months (for example, 1998/99) indicates a fiscal or financial year, as does the abbreviation FY (for example, FY2006).
“Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.
“Basis points” refer to hundredths of 1 percentage point (for example, 25 basis points are equivalent to 1/4 of 1 percentage point).
As used in this publication, the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.
Designed to meet the needs of economists, statisticians, students, and others, this pamphlet broadly surveys the key principles underlying the four main sets of macroeconomic statistics—national accounts, balance of payments, monetary and financial, and government finance statistics—when viewed as an integrated system. In this respect, it highlights the relationships between sectors of statistics and discusses recent developments in statistical methodologies, data compilation, and policy analysis and evaluation. The pamphlet updates Macroeconomic Accounts: An Overview, published by the IMF in 1979 under the authorship of Poul Høst-Madsen.
Manuals and guidelines on statistical frameworks are available for the four main areas of macroeconomic statistics, but the reader can easily be overwhelmed by the very size of the manuals and their technical content. Moreover, understanding the relationship between these statistics through the existing manuals can be challenging for specialists and nonspecialists alike. Thus, this pamphlet bridges the various statistics, simplifying many concepts for purposes of exposition, to help the reader to understand the main relationships underlying the sets of macroeconomic statistics. In showing how the four key statistical areas harmonize, the pamphlet explains their common features and differences. It also provides numerical examples in each chapter to demonstrate the practical application and uses of the concepts within an analytical framework.
In demonstrating the mutual consistency of the macroeconomic statistics, the pamphlet serves the needs of both policymakers and students of statistics. Given the orientation of the pamphlet, the authors expect it to be a valuable resource for students of economics and statistics to learn about macroeconomic statistics. At the same time, it should serve as a tool for IMF staff training, as well as for the IMF’s external training. Of course, for specialists or students wishing to have more in-depth understanding of the international concepts and frameworks in each macroeconomic account, they may refer to the relevant statistical manuals or guides.
Preparing the pamphlet has been a long and complex endeavor involving numerous specialists with diverse skills who were able to build on each other’s work through the exchange of drafts and consultations. The project was managed under a task force headed by Neil Patterson (former Assistant Director of the Statistics Department) that comprised Edgar Ayales, Keith Dublin, Roberto Rosales, Robin Kibuka, Wipada Soonthornsima, and Emmanuel Kumah. The task force reviewed the main draft chapters of the pamphlet prepared by Statistics Department consultants Paul Cotterell and Kevin O’Connor.
Besides preparing additional materials for the pamphlet, the task force requested and received supplementary materials from other Statistics Department staff, including, in particular, Kim Zieschang, Cor Gorter, Mick Silver, and Jose Cartas. The pamphlet benefited from useful comments from many staff of the Statistics Department. Further, particular note should be made of the contributions and inputs from other IMF departments that have strengthened and enriched the pamphlet in terms of its policy and practical content. Carmen Diaz-Zelaya and Patricia Poggi provided secretarial assistance; Joan Gibson gave editorial assistance; and James McEuen of the External Relations Department coordinated copyediting and publication. I wish to thank all who have contributed to this pamphlet.
Robert W. Edwards
International Monetary Fund
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Classification of the Functions of Government
Consumer price index
Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (IMF)
Depository corporations survey
Data Quality Assessment Framework
Financial corporations survey
Financial intermediation services indirectly measured
Free on board
Financial soundness indicator
General Data Dissemination System
Gross domestic income
Gross domestic product
Gross national disposable income
Government finance statistics
A Manual on Government Finance Statistics 1986
Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001
Gross national income
Gross national product
International investment position
International Labor Organization
International Monetary Fund
International trade in services
Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual
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Net operating balance
Nonprofit institutions serving households
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Producer price index
Quarterly national accounts
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Special Data Dissemination Standard (IMF)
Special drawing right
System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (UN)
System of National Accounts 1993
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Export and import price index