Archive for the 'GDP' Category



Travel and Tourism Spending Accelerated in the Fourth Quarter of 2014

Real spending on travel and tourism accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2014, increasing at an annual rate of 4.5 percent after increasing 3.4 percent (revised) in the third quarter.  By comparison, real gross domestic product (GDP) decelerated, increasing 2.2 percent (second estimate) in the fourth quarter after increasing 5.0 percent. For the year, real spending on travel and tourism increased 2.5 percent in 2014 after increasing 3.6 percent in 2013. By comparison, real GDP increased 2.4 percent in 2014 after increasing 2.2 percent in 2013.

The leading contributors to the acceleration in the fourth quarter were “passenger air transportation” and “recreation and entertainment.” “Passenger air transportation” turned up, increasing 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter after decreasing 4.5 percent in the third quarter. “Recreation and entertainment” also turned up, increasing 6.2 percent after decreasing 0.9 percent. Partially offsetting these upturns, “traveler accommodations” turned down, decreasing 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 8.3 percent.

Real Tourism Spending March 18

GDP increases in Fourth Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 5.0 percent. For the full year 2014, real GDP rose 2.4 percent after rising 2.2 percent in 2013.

Fourth-quarter GDP highlights
The increase in GDP in the fourth quarter reflected the following:

  • Consumer spending increased 4.3 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in the third quarter. Spending on both goods and services increased in the fourth quarter.
  • Inventory investment rose, notably by wholesale trade industries and manufacturing industries.
  • Exports of goods and services increased; foods, feeds, and beverages was the largest contributor.
  • Business investment also increased, mainly in intellectual property products.Q2Q Growth in Real GDP Jan30

In contrast, imports, a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Gross domestic purchases prices
Prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. residents decreased 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter, after increasing 1.4 percent in the third quarter. Energy prices declined sharply in the fourth quarter. Excluding energy and food, prices increased 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.6 percent in third quarter.

Personal income and personal saving
Real disposable personal income—personal income adjusted for taxes and inflation—rose 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter after rising 2.0 percent in the third quarter. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

Annual GDP highlights
The increase in GDP for 2014 reflected the following:

  • Consumer spending increased; spending on both services and goods increased.
  • Business investment increased, notably in equipment and structures.
  • Exports of goods increased.Annual Real GDP GrowthJan30

Prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. residents increased 1.4 percent in 2014 after increasing 1.3 percent in 2013.

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Introducing the New BEA Health Care Satellite Account

Total health care spending reached 17.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, and that share is expected to continue to grow significantly, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Given this trend, it is critical to develop an understanding of what those increased expenditures represent.  Are the increases attributable to rising costs of treatment or more individuals receiving medical care? What medical conditions account for the majority of spending? Which medical conditions see the cost of treatment rising most rapidly? Do these spending increases coincide with improvements in treatment? Answers to these questions are necessary in order to formulate policies that allow for society’s efficient consumption of health care as well as for the improvement of the nation’s overall health status.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has been conducting research to develop a health care satellite account (HCSA)—engaging in methodological research, evaluating new data sources, collaborating with academic researchers, and working jointly across multiple federal agencies (see the SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS articles (2007),(2008),(2009),(2012),(2013)). The account builds on research by prominent health economists, recommendations from two reports of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on National Statistics, and years of research both at BEA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

This first release of the HCSA presents preliminary estimates that may be used to improve our understanding of health care spending trends and its effects on the U.S. economy.

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