The macroeconomic determinants and consequences of firm-level accounting information are becoming increasingly important in accounting research. For example, recent studies provide evidence that earnings growth aggregated across individual firms can be a leading economic indicator. Thus, aggregate accounting information has the potential to be useful to macroeconomists and policymakers in measuring and forecasting macroeconomic activity, such as aggregate investment, inflation and GDP. In turn, exposure to these aggregate factors can influence firm-level production, financing and investing activities, which has implications for future performance as measured through an accounting lens.
Richard Berner, Former Director, U.S. Treasury Office of Financial Research.