BEA Introduces New Measures of the Regional Economy—Estimates of Real Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas, 2008–2012

Today, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released real, price-adjusted estimates of personal income for states and metropolitan areas for 2008-2012. The price-adjustments are based on regional price parities (RPPs) and on BEA’s national Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index. The RPPs measure geographic differences in the price levels of consumption goods and services relative to the national average, and the PCE price index measures national price changes over time. Using the RPPs in combination with the PCE price index allows for comparisons of the purchasing power of personal income across regions and over time. These estimates are being released for the first time as official statistics.*

Real-PI_metroareas_2013

Growth in real metropolitan area personal income from 2011 to 2012 ranged from a decline of 3.8% in Kennewick-Richland, WA to an increase of 10.2% in Odessa, TX. After Odessa, TX, the metropolitan areas with largest growth rates of real personal income were Midland, TX (9.6%), Greenville, NC (9.0%), Jackson, TN (8.1%), and Columbus, IN (7.6%). After Kennewick-Richland, WA, the metropolitan areas with the largest declines were Watertown-Fort Drum, NY (-2.5%), State College, PA (-2.4%), Hanford-Corcoran, CA (-2.3%), and Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ (-1.7%).

* Prototype statistics were released for evaluation and comment by users on June 12, 2013.

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BEA Introduces New Measures of the Regional Economy—Estimates of Real Personal Income for States, 2008–2012

Today, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released real, price-adjusted estimates of personal income for states and metropolitan areas for 2008-2012. The price-adjustments are based on regional price parities (RPPs) and on BEA’s national Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index. The RPPs measure geographic differences in the price levels of consumption goods and services relative to the national average, and the PCE price index measures national price changes over time. Using the RPPs in combination with the PCE price index allows for comparisons of the purchasing power of personal income across regions and over time. These estimates are being released for the first time as official statistics.*
Real-SPI_2012

Growth in real state personal income from 2011 to 2012 ranged from a decline of 1.2% in South Dakota to an increase of 15.1% in North Dakota. These growth rates reflect the year-over-year change in the state’s nominal personal income, the change in the national PCE price index, and the change in the regional price parity for that state. After North Dakota, the states with the largest growth rates were Montana (3.7%), Indiana (3.7%), California (3.4%), and Mississippi (3.4%). South Dakota was the only state with a decline in real personal income. The states with the smallest growth rates were Maine (0.3%), Alaska (0.7%), and Alabama (0.8%). The District of Columbia’s growth rate was 0.4%. States with growth rates close to the national average were Delaware (2.4%), Georgia (2.2%), Illinois (2.4%), Minnesota (2.2%), and Oregon (2.4%).

* Prototype statistics were released for evaluation and comment by users on June 12, 2013.

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Coming Soon: New Statistics Will Provide More Timely Snapshot of How Industries are Performing

Want to know how much manufacturing contributed to U.S. economic growth in a given quarter? How about educational services?

For the first time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will soon start producing on a regular basis quarterly estimates of economic activity generated by 22 industries.

The first quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry report will be released April 25 and will provide information on how these industries fared in the fourth quarter of 2013 as well as how they performed in previous quarters back to the first quarter of 2005. The report will also provide annual statistics for 2013. Previously, BEA published GDP by industry statistics only on an annual basis, so businesses and policymakers had a much longer wait for such information.

The new quarterly statistics will provide a different look at quarterly economic growth.  For instance, on March 27, BEA reported that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.6 percent pace in the fourth quarter of 2013. While that GDP report provides a lot of crucial information, the new quarterly GDP by industry report will shed light on whether most industries contributed to the nation’s economic growth or whether just a handful of industries accounted for most of it.

The new quarterly statistics also will serve as a better barometer for potential turning points in the U.S. economy and give businesses and policymakers a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the overall economy. For instance, in 2005—during the run up to the great recession—the U.S. economy grew 3.4 percent. Finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing accounted for 1.3 percentage points of that growth—more than a third. Providing regular, timely updates on how economic growth is distributed across the industries can help policymakers and business leaders identify potential trouble spots in the economy.

BEA officials discussed these new GDP by industry statistics at a data user conference March 11 at BEA.

These new estimates are just one way that BEA is innovating to better measure the 21st Century economy. This year, BEA also will introduce real (inflation-adjusted) estimates of personal income for states and metropolitan areas, along with prototype estimates of quarterly GDP by state and annual consumer spending by state. Providing businesses and individuals with new data tools like these is a priority of the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.”