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.
Read the full article.
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.
- 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.
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Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.6 percent.
The increase in GDP in the third quarter reflected the following:
• Consumer spending increased 3.2 percent, compared with 2.5 percent in the second quarter. Spending on both goods and services increased.
• Business investment rose, notably in transportation equipment and industrial equipment as well as in intellectual property products.
• Exports of goods increased; industrial supplies and materials was the largest contributor.
• Federal government spending increased, mainly national defense spending.
The 1.1 percentage points upward revision to the GDP growth rate reflected the following:
• An upward revision to consumer spending, reflecting upward revisions to health care and recreation services.
• An upward reward revision to business investment, mainly to structures and intellectual property products.
• An upward revision to private inventory investment by wholesale trade industries, notably the nondurable
For more information, see the technical note.
Corporate profits increased 3.1 percent at a quarterly rate in the third quarter after increasing 8.4 percent in the second quarter.
• Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased 2.5 percent after increasing 11.9 percent.
• Profits of domestic financial corporations increased 3.6 percent after increasing 8.0 percent.
• Rest of the world profits increased 4.2 percent after decreasing 0.9 percent.
Over the last 12 months, corporate profits rose 1.4 percent.
For more, see the full report.