October 26, 2010
The fiscal transactions of the federal government are recorded in two major sets of accounts. One is The Budget of the United States Government, which is prepared by the Office of Management and Budget and is the framework generally used by executive branch agencies and the Congress and typically discussed in the press. The other set of accounts is the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), which are produced by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The purposes served by the budget and the NIPA accounting frameworks, the conceptual differences, and the relationship between those two sets of data are examined briefly below and more thoroughly in previous publications by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In August, CBO reported its latest baseline projections of federal revenues and outlays in the standard structure for budget accounting. This report presents those projections in the NIPA framework.