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Importance of national income statistics: If you have read the lesson note on National Income Statistics here on Edukamer, we expect you to be asking yourself what is the importance of national income statistics. And if you couldn’t come to an answer, this short lesson note is all you need.
What is national income?
National Income (N.I) refers to the total money value of the goods and services produced by a country’s resources over a given period usually a year.
Whereas, National income accounting refers to a government bookkeeping system that measures a country’s economic activity—offering insight into how an economy is performing. Such a system will include total revenues by domestic corporations, wages paid, and sales and income tax data for companies.
Uses or importance of national income statistics
National income figures are very important for a series of reasons. Some of these reasons include:
- National income figures help in measuring a country’s standard of living or level of social welfare An economist works on the principle that because two loaves are better than one. an increase in the number of goods and services represents an increase in welfare. This statement is subject to many qualifications as we would soon come to see.
- National income figures provide a means of comparing living standards between countries If the national income of Cameroon is rising faster than that of Nigeria, then living standards are improving faster in Cameroon than in Nigeria. This statement is equally subject to many qualifications as we would soon see.
- National income figures provide a measure of economic trends in an economy A trend refers to a measure of the average level of an economic magnitude (income in this case) at a particular point in time We can then appreciate trade cycles with their booms and slumps National income figures are equally leading indicators of economic growth and development.
- National income figures help to show the current allocation of resources among the various sectors of an economy. Accurate national income figures should be capable of giving information related to private and public expenditure or on consumption and investment, personal disposable income. capital formation by various sectors, types of capital formed, the distribution of personal income before and after tax etc. This wealth of information provides a guideline to government economic policy with special emphasis on planning and structural adjustments.
- National income figures permit international institutions like the O.A.U.; U.N.O., etc. to estimate the financial contributions of their respective members.
- Information on national income statistics may also be of crucial importance to potential investors especially foreigners as no one would likely risk investing in a country with a slow rate of economic growth.