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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 February 28, BEA reported that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 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 will discuss 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.”

January 2014 Trade Gap is $39.1 Billion

The U.S. monthly international trade deficit increased in January 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit increased from $39.0 billion in December (revised) to $39.1 billion in January as imports increased more than exports. The previously published December deficit was $38.7 billion. The goods deficit increased $0.7 billion from December to $59.3 billion in January; the services surplus increased $0.5 billion from December to $20.2 billion in January.trade

Exports
Exports of goods and services increased $1.2 billion in January to $192.5 billion, mostly reflecting an increase in exports of goods. Exports of services also increased.
• The increase in exports of goods mostly reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials and in capital goods that were partly offset by a decrease in foods, feeds, and beverages.
• The increase in exports of services mostly reflected increases in other private services, which includes items such as business, professional, and technical services, insurance services, and financial services, and in royalties and license fees that were partly offset by decreases in passenger fares, in travel, and in other transportation, which includes freight and port services.

Imports
Imports of goods and services increased $1.3 billion in January to $231.6 billion, reflecting an increase in imports of goods. Imports of services decreased.
• The increase in imports of goods mostly reflected an increase in industrial supplies and materials that was partly offset by decreases in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines and in consumer goods.
• The decrease in imports of services mostly reflected decreases in travel and in passenger fares that were partly offset by an increase in other private services.

Goods by geographic area (not seasonally adjusted)
The goods deficit with the European Union decreased from $11.3 billion in December to $8.8 billion in January. Exports increased $0.6 billion to $21.5 billion, and imports decreased $1.9 billion to $30.3 billion.
• The goods deficit with China increased from $24.5 billion in December to $27.8 billion in January. Exports decreased $2.7 billion to $10.4 billion, and imports increased $0.6 billion to $38.2 billion.
• The goods deficit with Mexico decreased from $4.2 billion in December to $2.8 billion in January. Exports increased $1.2 billion to $19.1 billion, and imports decreased $0.2 billion to $21.9 billion.

To learn more about U.S. international trade in goods and services, read the full report.

Real Consumer Spending Rises in January

PI0114Personal income increased 0.3 percent in January after remaining flat in December, in part reflecting increases in Medicaid and other government social benefits due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Excluding all special factors, personal income rose 0.2 percent in January, following a decrease of 0.1 percent in December.

Current-dollar disposable personal income (DPI),
after-tax income, increased 0.4 percent in January after decreasing 0.1 percent in December.

Real DPI, income adjusted for taxes and inflation, increased 0.3 percent in January after decreasing 0.2 percent in December.

Real consumer spending, spending adjusted for price changes, increased 0.3 percent in January after decreasing 0.1 percent in December. Spending on services turned up in January, reflecting a turnaround in utilities and stronger growth in health care spending.

PCE prices increased 0.1 percent in January after increasing 0.2 percent in December. Excluding food and energy, PCE prices rose 0.1 percent in January.

Personal saving rate
Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 4.3 percent in January, the same as December.
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