|Issues, problems, and uses affected||Quantitative indicators (e.g., potential size of gap, size of revision, size of component treated differently or added)||Statistical source(s) of the problem||Proposed actions|
|Need for new and improved output measures|
|Possible understatement of growth, especially in fixed investment; potential for understatement in real GDP growth/1/||Difficulties in measuring quality changes, especially in investment goods||Methodology and structure: Extension of quality adjustment of prices used in real GDP, including hedonic work on goods amenable to such measurement: High-tech goods and nonresidential structures.|
|No quantitative indicator of the difficulties of defining output||Difficulties in defining output, especially in services||Methodology and structure: Further conceptual work on more difficult-to-measure services and goods.|
|Inability of existing source data used in the quarterly estimates to capture change in the economy||
|1.4-8.5 percentage point (+/-) revisions to quarterly changes (SAAR) for key components of national income||Difficulties in seasonal adjustment||Methodology and structure: Improvements in seasonal adjustment for volatile components such as inventories and trade in goods and services.|
|Errors in projections for missing source data||Methodology and structure: Improvements in projections for components such as inventories, trade in goods and services, and bonus payments.|
|0-1.2 percentage point overstatement of quarterly rates of change in real GDP (average since 1991:I-1994:III, 0.4 percentage point)/3/||Substitution bias, specifically the use of fixed weights (1987) inappropriate for the current period||Methodology and structure: Introduction of more current weights for real GDP for current estimates and more appropriate weights for historical estimates.|
|For industry classifications, inconsistencies across U.S. industries and incompatibilities among North American countries, with special attention needed for services, new and emerging industries, and high-tech industries/1/||Outdated and inconsistent industry classification system, source data, and industry accounts||Methodology
and structure: Develop a new industrial classification system. |
Data modification and extension: Implement a new industrial classification system, starting with a restructuring of survey forms.
Methodology and structure: Update and better integrate the input-output, industry, gross state product, and GDP estimates within the context of modernizing the accounts along the lines of the new international guidelines.
|Need for better measures of investment, savings, and wealth|
|Exclusion of certain types of public and private expenditures that contribute to the nation's wealth and productive capacity||Methodology and structure: Expand the accounting for investment and wealth/capital stock by (1) inclusion of government spending on structures and equipment and government and business spending on computer software and other intangibles in investment in the national accounts and (2) inclusion of research and development and natural resources in satellite accounts, in line with the new international economic accounts guidelines.|
|No quantitative indicator of the need to update measurement.||Use of straight-line depreciation||Methodology and structure: Use of an improved theoretical basis for depreciation patterns and valuation methods.|
percentage point differences--conceptual and statistical--between NIPA and flow
of funds measures of personal saving rates/4/.
||Lack of complete integration between financial and real accounts||Methodology and structure: Better integration of real and financial accounts in the context of modernizing the accounts in line with the new international economic accounting guidelines.|
|Need to fill gaps in the coverage of international transactions|
|Inability of existing data collection methods to capture new markets and types of goods, services, and financial instruments and intermediaries||Data
modification and extension: Extension of existing surveys to cover new
products, services, and markets.
Methodology and structure: Extension of data exchanges with other countries and central banks.
New data: Development of new surveys such as for financial services and portfolio investment.
1. For a discussion of quantitative indicators, see text.
2. Based on BEA revision studies; see text for details.
3. Based on BEA alternative output and price indexes; see text for details.
4. Based on historical difference between BEA's NIPA measures and the Federal Reserve Board's flow-of-funds estimates; most of the difference between the two series are conceptual, with statistical differences ranging between 0 and 2.9 percentage points over the last 10 years.
5. Calculated from Quarterly National Accounts, compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. ``Europe'' includes the 13 countries for which data were published.
6. Based on indicator series and past revisions for similar components.