Posts Tagged 'Bureau of Economic Analyis'

BEA Works to Mitigate Potential Sources of Residual Seasonality in GDP

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is working on a multi-pronged action plan to improve its estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) by identifying and mitigating potential sources of “residual” seasonality. That’s when seasonal patterns remain in data even after they are adjusted for seasonal variations.

Each spring, BEA conducts an extensive review–receiving updated seasonally adjusted data from the agencies that supply us with data used in our calculation of GDP. Most of the data the feeds into GDP is seasonally adjusted by the source agency, not BEA. At the same time, BEA examines its own seasonal factors for those series that BEA seasonally adjusts itself. All that work takes place in preparation for BEA’s annual revision to GDP and its major components, which will be released on July 30.

As a result of this ongoing work, BEA is aware of the potential for residual seasonality in GDP and its components, and the agency is looking for ways to minimize this phenomenon.

• One of the areas we’re currently reviewing is possible residual seasonality in measures of federal government defense services spending. Initial research suggests that the first and fourth quarter growth rates are lower on average than those of the third and second quarters. BEA is developing methods for addressing what it has found.
 • Time frame to implement: Improvement will take place with the release of second quarter GDP on July 30. Period covered: 2012, 2013, 2014, and forward.

• BEA also will begin adjusting certain inventory investment series that currently aren’t seasonally adjusted.
 • Time frame to implement: Improvement will take place with the release of second-quarter GDP on July 30. Period covered: 2012, 2013, 2014, and forward.

• Also as part of this year’s seasonal adjustment review, BEA is planning to seasonally adjust a number of series from the Census Bureau’s quarterly services survey that now have sufficient time spans to which seasonal adjustment techniques can be applied. Currently, these series are smoothed using a four-quarter moving average to attempt to smooth out seasonal trends in the data. While BEA’s review had not identified residual seasonality in the PCE services estimates, applying statistical seasonal adjustment techniques to these indicators will improve the accuracy of the underlying trends in PCE estimates.
 • Time frame to implement:  Improvement will take place with the release of second quarter GDP on July 30.  Period covered 2012, 2013, 2014, and forward.

• BEA will review all series entering the GDP calculations to identify, and where feasible, mitigate any residual seasonality within its existing seasonal adjustment methodologies.
 • Time frame to implement: Review will take place with the release of second-quarter GDP on July 30. Period covered: 2012, 2013, 2014, and forward.

• Longer term–beyond July 30–BEA will continue looking at components of GDP to determine if there are opportunities to improve seasonal adjustment methodologies.  Should BEA identify other areas of potential residual seasonality, BEA will develop methods to address these findings. If research suggests that residual seasonality originates with already seasonally adjusted source data, BEA will work alongside its source data agencies to determine the appropriate course of action.

Additional information will be available in an upcoming article in BEA’s Survey of Current Business that’s slated to be published in mid-June.

Widespread Growth Across Industries Continues in Third Quarter 2014

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014, reflecting positive contributions from 20 of 22 industry groups. The private goods- and services-producing industries, as well as the government sector, contributed to the increase.

  • The leading contributors to the increase were finance and insurance; mining; and real estate and rental and leasing.

Real Value Added by Sector Jan22

  • Finance and insurance real value added increased 21.2 percent in the third quarter, after increasing 6.0 percent.
  • Mining increased 25.6 percent, after increasing 11.5 percent.
  • Real estate and rental and leasing increased 4.4 percent, after increasing 0.9 percent.

Real Value Added by Industry Jan22

Read the full report.

November 2014 Trade Gap is $39.0 Billion

The U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased in November 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit decreased from $42.2 billion in October (revised) to $39.0 billion in November, as imports decreased more than exports. The previously published October deficit was $43.4 billion. The goods deficit decreased $3.3 billion from October to $58.3 billion in November. The services surplus decreased $0.1 billion from October to $19.3 billion in November.

Balance on Goods and Services Trade Jan7

Exports
Exports of goods and services decreased $2.0 billion in November to $196.4 billion, mostly reflecting a decrease in exports of goods. Exports of services also decreased.

  • The decrease in exports of goods was more than accounted for by a decrease in capital goods. An increase in industrial supplies and materials was partly offsetting.
  • The decrease in exports of services mostly reflected a decrease in transport, which includes freight and port services and passenger fares.

Imports
Imports of goods and services decreased $5.2 billion in November to $235.4 billion, reflecting a decrease in imports of goods. Imports of services were nearly unchanged.

  • The decrease in imports of goods mostly reflected a decrease in industrial supplies and materials.
  • Imports of services were nearly unchanged as a decrease in travel (for all purposes including education) was mostly offset by small increases in several other categories.

Goods by geographic area (seasonally adjusted, Census basis)

  • The goods deficit with Canada decreased from $2.7 billion in October (revised) to $1.4 billion in November. Exports were nearly unchanged at $26.7 billion and imports decreased $1.3 billion to $28.1 billion
  • The goods surplus with South and Central America increased from $2.3 billion in October to $4.3 billion in November. Exports increased $0.5 billion to $15.5 billion and imports decreased $1.5 billion to $11.2 billion.
  • The goods deficit with the European Union increased from $11.2 billion in October to $12.7 billion in November. Exports decreased $0.7 billion to $22.2 billion and imports increased $0.8 billion to $35.0 billion.

Read the full report.