Archive for the 'GDP by Industry' Category

New BEA Data Proves Valuable for Retail Industry

Jack_KleinhenzGuest blog post by Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., Chief Economist, National Retail Federation

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

The National Retail Federation closely monitors economic conditions in order to gauge the health of the overall industry and the consumers who represent nearly 70% of the national GDP. By having quarterly updates on the economic performance of 22 sectors, we will be better served when representing retailers and their needs as it relates to economic forecasts, labor markets and job reports, and much more.

Having higher frequency GDP data by industry will be extremely valuable in assessing current economic conditions and shaping economic forecasts. The new data series should provide reliable information on the changes in growth for specific industries, and offer insights into whether the growth is well-above, well-below, or average relative to overall GDP growth. In the past, the annual data could not provide perspective on the fits and starts in marketplace activity, so I am encouraged that a more detailed picture is now more accessible.

No modeling effort can accurately capture the dynamics and complexity of the U.S. economy nor consider all the variables. The difference now is that we don’t have to wait a year to find out how different industries are performing and contributing to the United States’ economic growth. This data will add to our toolkit for forecasting both short and long-term trends. Additionally, these quarterly reports will provide a better barometer of when an industry might be poised for a surge or a drop – otherwise known as turning points – that can possibly be a signal for the direction of the larger U.S. economy.

All in all, the access to this new statistical product will add to more informed decisions by all who need reliable and timely data on the performance of the economy.

New Quarterly Statistics Detail Industries’ Economic Performance

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released today – for the first time – gross domestic product (GDP) by industry for 22 industry sectors on a quarterly basis. These new statistics fill an important gap in U.S. federal economic statistics by providing timely information on how individual industries contributed to U.S. economic growth in a given quarter.

  • Real GDP increased 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, with both the private goods- and services- producing sectors contributing to the increase. Overall, 15 out of 22 industry groups contributed to economic growth. The leading contributors to the increase were nondurable-goods manufacturing; professional, scientific and technical services; and wholesale trade.


  • Growth in real GDP in the fourth quarter decelerated from 4.1 percent in the third to 2.6 percent in the fourth. The deceleration reflected a slowdown in the private services-producing sector and a larger decrease in the government sector that was partly offset by a pickup in growth in the goods-producing sector.
  • Overall, 17 out of 22 industry groups contributed to the slowdown in real GDP growth. The leading contributors to the slowdown were real estate, rental, and leasing; construction; and retail trade.

QuarterlyGDP2_4_25_14 Read the full report

Travel and Tourism Spending Accelerated in the Fourth Quarter of 2013

Real spending on travel and tourism accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2013, increasing at an annual rate of 4.2 percent after increasing 3.1 percent (revised) in the third quarter of 2013.

Real Tourism Spending.  Real spending on “traveler accommodations” accelerated, increasing 14.5 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 3.3 percent in the third quarter. The increase was primarily driven by group and corporate revenue growth. Real spending on “food services and drinking places” also accelerated, increasing 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter after no change in the third quarter.RealTourismSpending_4q13

Tourism Prices.  Prices for “traveler accommodations” decreased 8.0 percent in the fourth quarter, after decreasing 3.0 percent in the third quarter. In contrast, prices for “passenger air transportation” accelerated, increasing 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 5.7 percent in the third quarter. Strong holiday demand was reflected by an increase in passenger unit revenue.TourismPrices_4q13

Tourism Employment.  Employment in the travel and tourism industries accelerated in the fourth quarter, increasing 2.8 percent after increasing 1.8 percent in the third quarter.  The primary contributors to the acceleration in employment were increases in “recreation, entertainment, and shopping” and “transportation.”TourismEmployment_4q13

To learn more, read the full report.