ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Understanding national accounts


This course is given by François Lequiller, former head of the French national accounts department and national accounts manager at the OECD. It is based on the recent (2007) OECD publication "Understanding National Accounts''. For this reason, the course will be given mostly in English. The national accounts constitute a fundamental system of statistics for macroeconomists and economic forecasters, in both French and international terms. This importance has been accentuated in recent years by the use of national accounts in calculating the "Maastricht criteria". The intention of the course is to systematically locate the definitions of the national accounts in the context of their use by economists. A significant part of the course is devoted to the issues of estimating and the limits of this data. François Lequiller's experience guarantees a direct connection to the practice (and what goes on backstage) in this area. The work contains exercises with answers.



  1. The essential macroeconomic aggregates
  2. Distinguishing between volume and prices
  3. International comparisons
  4. Production: What it includes and excludes
  5. Defining final uses, or demand
  6. The household account
  7. Business accounts
  8. The financial and balance sheet accounts
  9. The general government account
  10. The input-output table and integrated economic accounts
  11. The National Accounts Machinery: compilation and reporting


Blades, D., et F. Lequiller (2006), Understanding National Accounts, OECD.