Category: national accounts

Previewing BEA’s benchmark national accounts updates coming on July 27

Previewing BEA’s benchmark national accounts updates coming on July 27

During my 19 years at BEA, I felt that our most significant accomplishments were the four benchmark revisions or updates of the national accounts that were released in 1999, 2003, 2009, and 2013. On Friday, July 27, BEA will release its next benchmark update of the accounts. What makes these data releases so important? There’s …

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What the textbooks get wrong when they explain GDP

What the textbooks get wrong when they explain GDP

Most economics textbooks don’t devote a lot of space to explaining economic statistics, but they usually provide a short discussion of gross domestic product, or GDP. In limited space, they typically are able to explain some of the important features of GDP—that it’s a comprehensive measure of income and expenditure, that it measures transactions at …

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How Globalization Could Change GDP and the National Accounts

How Globalization Could Change GDP and the National Accounts

National accounts statistics, such as GDP, are designed to measure economic activity taking place in a country. Multinational corporations, on the other hand, operate across many countries. In pursuing global profits, the affiliates of these multinationals often engage in transactions intended to reduce the multinational’s overall tax burden, and some of those transactions arguably distort …

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How Early GDP Estimates Have Become More Accurate

Tomorrow morning’s advance GDP report is likely more accurate than similar reports released a couple years ago. Why is that? This morning the Census Bureau released the advance economic indicators report, which showed that the goods trade deficit had decreased and wholesale inventories had increased in December. We can expect BEA to incorporate these statistics …

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