Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines for Citing BEA Information | ID: 1017 | Created: Jan-29-2013

How did special and accelerated dividends affect the national income and product accounts in the fourth quarter 2012?

In the fourth quarter 2012, an atypical number of companies paid special and/or accelerated dividends. Users of the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) will see the impact on the estimates of personal income released on January 30, 2013. The effect of these dividends payments on undistributed corporate profits will be seen when BEA releases its estimates of corporate profits for the fourth quarter of 2012 on March 27, 2013. It is important to note that the estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) will not be affected because these dividend payments do not represent income associated with current period production of goods and services. Similarly, the estimate of gross domestic income, which is conceptual equivalent to GDP, will not be affected. However, the NIPAs include a number of detailed accounts, such as the personal income and outlays account and the government receipts and expenditures account, which are affected by dividend payments.

The NIPAs include estimates of net dividends paid by corporate business, derived as the difference between dividends paid by corporations less those received by corporations. Net dividends paid are subtracted from profits before tax to derive undistributed profits. The NIPAs also include estimates of the value of these dividends distributed to persons, government, and the rest of the world.

Estimates of dividend payments to persons are derived using a three-month moving average of data on dividend payments provided in publically available corporate financial statements. A three-month moving average is used in order to minimize volatility related to changes in the mix of companies reporting from month to month. In the event that special or accelerated dividend payments are known to have been paid out, BEA makes an adjustment to its normal methodology to ensure that the special dividend payments are recorded in the actual month they are paid out. It is worth noting that monthly estimates of dividends received by persons in the NIPAs will differ from source data because the components of the NIPAs are presented at annual rates.

For more information regarding the special and accelerated dividends paid in the fourth quarter of 2012 please see the “Technical Note” that BEA issues concurrently with each of the quarterly GDP releases.

For more information regarding the impact on personal income of special and accelerated dividends paid in the fourth quarter of 2012 please see BEA’s “Personal Income and Outlays, January 2013” report released on March 1, 2013.

Ask us a question...

"How did special and accelerated dividends affect the national income and product accounts in the fourth quarter 2012? "
Your email address
Your question
What is 10 + 5? (Spam protection)

Double check that email address! | We won't be able to contact you if it is incorrect.

Why the math question? | This helps stop malicious programs from using this site to generate SPAM email.

Please allow us some time | It could take up to two(2) business days for our Subject Matter Experts to follow up with an appropriate answer to your question(s). Your patience is very much appreciated.

Need Help?

Using the FAQ database | All FAQs are displayed when first visiting the page. They are ordered by most recent or recently updated and can be filtered by keyword search term, by category, and by manually selecting the page number buttons. To view any FAQ, click on the title to open the answer. Submitting a question is done by selecting the “Ask a question” tab along the top of the FAQ.

Selecting an FAQ | Clicking on the title of the FAQ will bring up the answer to the FAQ. Navigating back to the list of FAQs is done by selecting the tab “Latest FAQs”. A tab to ask a question specifically about this FAQ can be found at the top of the answer. Also, the FAQ id and date this FAQ was created or last modified is shown in the upper right hand corner.

Searching the FAQs | Enter a keyword search term and click the Search button to narrow FAQ selections. To return to all FAQs, click the Clear button or clear the keyword search field and click the Search button.

Filtering FAQs by category | Chose the category to filter by and click Apply button. This will display only the FAQs related to an assigned category. To return to all FAQs click the Clear button next to the search by keyword field or select ALL from the drop down menu and click Apply button.