The Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts of the United States
Chapter in NBER book Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress (2014), Dale W. Jorgenson, J. Steven Landefeld, and Paul Schreyer, editors (p. 277 - 321)
The integrated macroeconomic accounts (IMAs), produced jointly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), present a sequence of accounts that relate income, saving, investment in real and financial assets, and asset revaluations to changes in net worth. This paper first provides some background information on the IMAs and on their construction. Next, it discusses the usefulness of the IMAs, focusing for instance on the evolution of household net worth and its components, a set of series that has appeared frequently in discussions of the causes and effects of the recent financial crisis. It also discusses some of the challenges associated with integrating nonfinancial and financial data sources, that is, the current and capital accounts statistics from BEA's national income and product accounts (NIPAs) and the financial account statistics from FRB's flow of funds accounts (FFAs). In the final section, this paper discusses future plans for improving the IMAs, including a proposed framework and methodology for breaking out the financial business sector into three subsectors: 1, central bank; 2, insurance and pension funds; and 3, other financial business.
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