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The Bureau of Economic Analysis should lead efforts to improve GNP estimates : report to the Congress

Author: United States. General Accounting Office.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : U.S. General Accounting Office, 1982.
Edition/Format:   Print book : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
GAO analyzed the revisions made to the gross national product (GNP) estimates over the past 13 years, presented assessments of their reliability, examined management mechanisms to determine whether improvements are needed, and evaluated what entities should manage the changes.
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
United States. General Accounting Office.
Bureau of Economic Analysis should lead efforts to improve GNP estimates.
Washington, D.C. : U.S. General Accounting Office, 1982
(OCoLC)623321585
Material Type: Government publication, National government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: United States. General Accounting Office.
OCLC Number: 9361033
Notes: Cover title.
"December 27, 1982."
"GAO/GGD-83-1."
"B-208440"--Preliminary page.
Item 546-D (microfiche).
Description: v, 116 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Responsibility: by the Comptroller General of the United States.

Abstract:

GAO analyzed the revisions made to the gross national product (GNP) estimates over the past 13 years, presented assessments of their reliability, examined management mechanisms to determine whether improvements are needed, and evaluated what entities should manage the changes.

GAO noted that the GNP estimates provide an overview of current economic output to predict future economic activity, assess the effect of Federal policies on the economy, and identify needed economic changes. While analyses of revisions to the GNP over the past 30 years showed an overall commendable record, GAO found that: (1) the GNP components which caused most of the revisions to the estimates continue to present problems; (2) the components have been affected by recent budget cuts; and (3) current data are not available for estimating some GNP components. Further, GAO found that the size of the revisions, although small, was larger during periods of economic instability, which was troublesome to users and caused policymakers to question the reliability of the estimates. In 1977, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) advisory committee made 155 recommendations to 24 Federal agencies to improve the GNP database; however, fewer than one-third of these recommendations have been implemented. GAO learned that data collection agencies generally implemented only those recommendations that could be accomplished at low cost to benefit their own mission or were easily done, while the most needed recommendations have not been implemented.

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