Description of table F.8 - Instrument Discrepancies

This table presents the discrepancies for all instruments in the accounts for which a discrepancy is shown. An instrument discrepancy is the difference between the total borrowing of funds by all sectors through a particular financial instrument and the total lending of funds through the same instrument. It is considered a use of funds that balances total borrowing and total lending.

A discrepancy is shown for the following financial instruments: Treasury currency, foreign deposits, net interbank transactions, federal funds and security repurchase agreements, mail floats, trade credit, taxes payable, and miscellaneous items. Also shown is the nonfinancial discrepancy, which consists of the statistical discrepancy from the national income and product accounts, private wage accruals less disbursements, and contributions for government social insurance from U.S. affiliated areas. No discrepancies exist for financial instruments not listed earlier in this paragraph, because one sector is assumed to be the residual lender (often the households and nonprofit organizations sector) or borrower.

A discrepancy may arise from differences in the timing or reporting of data obtained from different sources, measurement errors, or other inconsistencies, and is often viewed as an indicator of the quality or completeness of the data. The existence of discrepancies, however, is generally seen as inevitable in the preparation of aggregate economic data. Frequently, large quarterly movements in discrepancies cancel out when the data are presented on an annual basis. The total instrument discrepancy equals the total sector discrepancy, as shown on table F.7.

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