The Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts for the United States
Susan Hume McIntosh
Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC, United States

Using the System of National Accounts format (SNA), this paper presents a set of macroeconomic accounts for the United States that combine data from the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) and the flow of funds accounts (FFA). This format provides a comprehensive picture of economic activity within an integrated framework with consistent definitions, classifications, and accounting conventions. Data are broken down into six economic units – households and nonprofit organizations serving households, nonfinancial noncorporate businesses (sole proprietorships and limited partnerships), nonfinancial corporate businesses, financial businesses, federal government, state and local governments, and the rest of the world. Each sector table has a full complement of accounts: current accounts (production and income accounts), accumulation accounts (capital account, financial, and other changes in volume account), revaluation account, and balance sheet account. Thus, you are able to trace the factors leading to changes in sector net worth for each sector. Data are available annually beginning in 1960 and quarterly beginning in 1992 and are released at the same time as the flow of funds accounts. These integrated accounts allow users to better document trends and developments during business cycles. A novel approach to analyzing the economy that is highlighted in these accounts is sectoral net lending and borrowing, which is presented in both the capital account and the financial account. In this paper I will focus first on the construction of the accounts and then on what we could learn from the data presented in this integrated way.

Keywords: Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts; Net lending and borrowing; System of National Accounts; Flow of Funds Accounts

Biography: Susan Hume McIntosh is a senior economist and special project coordinator in the Flow of Funds Section of the Division of Research and Statistics at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She started at the Federal Reserve in 1972 and has spent most of her career working on the flow of funds accounts. She is currently responsible for coordinating the compilation of the accounts each quarter and overseas all structural changes and major data revisions. She has been a member of the Bureau for the OECD Working Party on Financial Statistics for eight years. She has worked on several IMF projects, including the financial soundness indicators. She worked jointly with BEA to create the “Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts for the United States”, first published in 2006. Ms. McIntosh received her MBA in finance from The George Washington University and her BA from the College of William and Mary.