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The National Accounts

The national accounts are a central framework for the presentation and measurement of the stocks and flows within the economy. This framework provides many key economic statistics including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Income as well as information on, for example, saving and disposable income.

The national accounts make sense of the complex activity in the economy using two main groupings: the participants of the economy (the ‘who’) and their transactions with one another (the ‘what’). Units are the individual households or legal entities, such as companies, which participate in the economy. These units are grouped into sectors, for example the Financial corporations sector, the Government sector and the Household sector. The economic transactions between these units are also defined and grouped within the accounts. Examples of transactions include government expenditure, interest payments, capital expenditure and a company issuing shares.

The national accounts framework brings these units and transactions together to provide a simple and understandable description of production, income, consumption, accumulation and wealth. These accounts are constructed for the UK economy as a whole, as well as for the individual sectors in the Sector Accounts. Estimates are published quarterly in the National Statistics publication UK Economic Accounts and Quarterly National Accounts. Annual figures are published in the UK National Accounts.

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