Archive for the 'Regional' Category

BEA Constantly Innovates to Produce New Statistics Measuring the U.S. Economy

bea_logo_0The Bureau of Economic Analysis is producing new economic statistics over the course of this year that offer businesses and households additional tools to make informed decisions and illustrate BEA’s innovative approach to better measure the dynamic U.S. economy.

Arts and Culture Statistics: These new annual statistics, released on Jan. 12, show the impact of arts and culture on the U.S. economy. The new data provides detailed information on spending on arts and culture as well as employment in those industries.

Health Care Statistics: BEA released data on Jan. 22 that — for the first time — provides information about the changes in prices to treat different diseases — illustrating trends in prices from 2000 through 2010. BEA also released new statistics on spending to treat different medical conditions for those same years. Data for 2011 and 2012 will be released in the spring.

• State Economic Activity: BEA on Sept. 2 will start releasing on a regular basis new quarterly statistics detailing economic activity in each state. The data offers a more up-to-date picture of how the states economies are faring and provides a more detailed view of economic activity across the entire United States.

• Consumer Spending by State:  BEA will begin producing these new annual statistics on a regular basis starting Dec. 1.  The data shows how much consumers spend in each state and provides details on the kinds of goods and services they buy.

New International Investment Statistics: These statistics, which BEA plans to release later this year, provides information on “greenfield” investment – investment that occurs when a foreign firm establishes a new U.S. business or expands an existing one by building a new plant or facility.

While each of these new statistics target different pieces of the U.S. economy, they all demonstrate BEA’s innovative approach to economic measurement. The first four examples leverage existing sets of source data in new ways to provide additional insight into the workings of the U.S. economy. The last item represents a new data collection effort that will pave the way for a new set of statistics on foreign investment.

Other innovations at BEA will allow more regional economic statistics to be released.

The new data provides businesses with more tools to make decisions about hiring and investment and can aid individuals looking to relocate for a job or to find a new job.

These new estimates are just a few of the ways that BEA is innovating to better measure the 21st Century economy. Providing businesses and individuals with new data tools like these is a priority of the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.”

BEA to Release Modified Regional Input-Output Model in 2015

The Bureau of Economic Analysis plans to release in 2015 a modified economic model to replace the original Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II).  Cost savings will be realized because the modified model will be updated less frequently.

Much like RIMS II, the modified model will produce regional “multipliers” that can be used in economic impact studies to estimate the total economic impact of a project on a region.

However, the modified model will be updated with new input-output (I-O) data only for benchmark years.  That is — years ending in two and seven.  The modified model will become available to customers in 2015 and incorporate 2007 benchmark I-O data and 2012 regional economic data.

Last year, as a result of budget sequestration and reduced funding levels, BEA discontinued updates to RIMS II.  Orders for RIMS II multipliers, however, have continued to be accepted because the cost of fulfilling these orders is covered by a nominal processing fee.

After investigating ways to continue to meet the analytical needs of our customers but do so at a lower cost to BEA, the bureau decided to make a modified economic model available. Until the modified model is available in 2015, customers may continue to buy RIMS II multipliers.

How BEA Regional Data is Used to Distribute Federal Funds to State, Local Governments

Did you know that each year BEA regional economic statistics, such as annual personal income and per capita personal income are used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds to states and local governments?  In fiscal year 2013, about $308 billion in federal funds were distributed under programs using BEA statistics in funding formulas.

Each year BEA gathers information on the amounts distributed by federal programs using BEA regional economic statistics.  BEA recently released materials detailing the amounts distributed in fiscal year 2013.  The information can be found on BEA’s Web site at under “Uses of the Regional Program Estimates”.

The use of BEA regional economic statistics in federal funding formulas is only one of the important uses of these data, and is just one reason why the accuracy and timeliness of these statistics are so important.

regional income and product account