World Tables Data - Basic Concepts

As far as is practicable, the World Tables economic indicators conform to the UN System of National Accounts (SNA), and its social indicators conform to methodologies of UN specialized agencies. In some areas of economic statistics, additional guidelines have been developed that are broadly in line with the SNA but differ in some respects. For example, the IMF has played a leading role in helping national compilers elaborate balance of payments, monetary, and government finance statistics. While further revision of the SNA, already under study, may reduce definitional and classification differences, few are resolved in the World Tables amalgam of statistical sources.

Where possible, however, the Bank harmonizes related data sets drawn from diverse sources. This conceptual process, perhaps as much as national estimates obtained by Bank staff, imparts a unique quality to the national accounts and international transactions data reported in World Tables. The Bank has devised for its analytical purposes certain methods and concepts such as partial rebasing, gross domestic income (GDY), and gross national income (GNY).