Posts Tagged 'BEA'

Real Consumer Spending Flat in June

Personal income increased 0.4 percent in June and in May. Wages and salaries rose 0.2 percent in June after rising 0.4PCE Part 2 Aug 3  percent May.

Current-dollar disposable personal income (DPI), after-tax income, increased 0.5 percent in June after rising 0.4 percent in May.

Real DPI, income adjusted for taxes and inflation, increased 0.2 percent in June after increasing 0.1 percent in May.

Real consumer spending (PCE), spending adjusted for price changes, was flat in June after increasing 0.4 percent in May. Spending on durable goods decreased 1.1 percent in June after increasing 1.3 percent in May.

PCE prices increased 0.2 percent in June, after increasing 0.3 percent in May. Excluding food and energy, PCE prices increased 0.1 percent in June and in May.

Personal saving rate
Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 4.8 percent in June and 4.6 percent in May.

Annual Revision
These estimates reflect the 2015 annual revision of the national income and product accounts, which incorporated new source data and other improvements back to 1976.

Real DPI Aug. 3

For more information, read the full report.

Detailed Direct Investment Data for 2014 Now Available

Detailed statistics on U.S. direct investment abroad – or “outward direct investment”– and on foreign direct investment in the United States – or “inward direct investment” are now available on BEA’s website.

Preliminary direct investment statistics are available for 2014 and revised statistics for 2012 and 2013. These data are now incorporated into the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ new data tool, International Trade and Investment Country Facts, as well as our interactive data tables.

These newly released statistics provide comprehensive data on direct investment for selected countries on financial transactions, equity, debt instruments, reinvestment of earnings, and income by major industry. Statistics are also now available for positions, financial transactions, and income for all countries and for all industries. For inward direct investment, supplementary statistics classified by country of the ultimate beneficial owner are also now available.

An upcoming article in the September Survey of Current Business will present these statistics as well as additional statistics, such as reinvestment ratios, rates of return, and, for outward direct investment, position and income data classified by the industry of the U.S. parent.

Chart 3 US Direct Investment July 31

Chart 7 July 31

Industry in Focus: Transportation and Warehousing

Transportation and warehousing is an industry that is important to everyone, whether you’re an individual flying home to visit family or a business expecting a shipment of raw materials. In the first quarter of 2015, transportation and warehousing subtracted 0.56 percentage point from real Gross Domestic Product, and was the largest contributor to the 0.2 percent decrease in GDP.

That sounds straightforward enough, but what exactly does that mean?

Contribution to growth—or in this case, a contribution to a decline–isn’t solely a matter of looking at the percent change in real value added by an industry. Instead, the contribution is based on both the quarter-to-quarter change and the size of the industry in the economy.

For instance, real (inflation-adjusted) value added for transportation and warehousing fell 17.3 percent, a smaller percentage point decrease than that of the utilities industry, which fell 18.4 percent. However, transportation and warehousing is a larger industry than utilities. Because transportation and warehousing is larger, that 17.3 percent decrease translated to a $20.7 billion decrease, while the smaller utilities industry’s 18.4 percent decrease translated to a $14.4 billion decrease. This explains why the transportation and warehousing sector contributed 0.56 percentage point to the overall decrease in GDP, while the utilities sector contributed 0.34 percentage point.

This distinction is important because looking at the industries that subtract the most from GDP when GDP falls (or, conversely, contribute the most to GDP when GDP increases) typically points us toward those industries where notable things are happening.

In the case of transportation and warehousing, the notable thing that happened in the first quarter was a sharp drop in real gross output – a measure of an industry’s sales or receipts.

If you’re one of the millions of travelers whose flight was canceled during the unusually harsh winter of 2015, this probably isn’t surprising to you. Heavier than normal snow in the Northeast directly impacted air transportation, a component of transportation and warehousing. Of course, the harsh winter began in December, and as you can see here, transportation and warehousing declined in the fourth quarter of 2014 as well even though overall GDP was increasing 2.2 percent. But when you look at relatively milder winters, such as the winter in the first quarter of 2013, you see that transportation and warehousing increased.

Indeed, the weather in the first quarter of 2015 impacted many portions of the transportation and warehousing industry, which also includes rail transportation, water transportation, truck transportation, transit and ground passenger transportation, pipeline transportation, various support activities, couriers and messengers, and warehousing and storage.

Truck transportation, the largest component of transportation and warehousing, was likely affected not only by the harsh weather but also by work slowdowns at several ports along the West Coast.  Slowdowns at the ports translated into less (or no) cargo loaded onto trucks, leaving trucks underutilized (or idle) when they would otherwise be delivering goods.  In addition to the direct impact on the output of the transportation and warehousing industry, trucking is a critical input to the production processes of many other industries. For example, the wholesale and retail trade industries depend heavily on truck transportation, and both showed a notable decline in their purchases of transportation services in the first quarter.

You may have noticed that subtracting 0.56 percentage point from GDP means that transportation and warehousing accounted for more than the actual 0.2% decrease in real GDP.  This is because other industries grew in the first quarter.  BEA’s quarterly GDP-by-industry statistics help us to better see the inner workings of the economy and provide a comprehensive picture of U.S. industrial performance.