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National accounts statistics can be analyzed with business data to identify correlations and applied to forecasts for the purposes of business planning, proposals and valuation. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) statistics represent the overall growth of an economy and are particularly useful for correlating against revenue drivers, such as sales volume, and employed in revenue forecasting and planning. Furthermore, the components of GDP and other national accounts statistics can be used to test relationships with all levels of revenue and expenditure business data to further enhance the robustness of business forecasting.
GDP and other relevant statistics correlation relationships with business data can be tested with the Multiple Regression and Forecasting template and the resulting forecasted business data can be applied within the Investment and Business Valuation template.
Access to National Accounts GDP Statistics
There are a number of sources of national accounts statistics including GDP that can be accessed and used for business forecasting purposes. Determining which source of national accounts statistics depends largely on the nature of the underlying business.
National level businesses
If the underlying business operates within the national region (i.e. the customer base resides within one country), it is appropriate to access national accounts statistics at the highest level of granularity in question for the country in question. In this case, national accounts statistics can be sourced directly from the national statistical office for the country. Information and links to individual national statistical offices for all countries can be found here.
International level businesses
If the underlying business operates at a multi-national level then potential sources of appropriate national accounts GDP statistics is more varied. Care should be taken to source national accounts statistics that are comparable across countries since countries apply different methods to construct calculate GDP statistics and their underlying components.
A number of financial information providers offer subscriptions for national accounts statistics that have been compiled by international organizations to make them comparable across countries. Some of these paid services also facilitate download of such data into spreadsheets, such as Bloomberg and it's Excel add-in to download data and statistics.
National accounts GDP statistics at a more aggregated level can, however, be accessed for free directly from the web sites of international organizations that compile and disseminate them to be comparable across countries.
The following list of free national accounts statistics sources from international statistical organizations is ordered from highest country coverage to lowest:
Importing National Accounts GDP Statistics to Spreadsheets
Online sources of national accounts statistics can be imported into spreadsheet applications in order to be correlated with business data for forecasting purposes.
The simplest way to import statistical time series data into a spreadsheet application such as Excel is to copy and paste from the web site in question into a worksheet. More efficient methods for importing data into Excel can be accomplished by employing Excel web queries. There are several methods to initiate an Excel web query to import data into a spreadsheet.
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