Bureau of Economic Analysis Releases Two New Data Sets to Deepen Understanding of U.S. Economy

In the past two days, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic  Analysis (BEA) has released two brand new sets of economic statistics that business people, entrepreneurs, policy makers, households and others can use to make more informed decisions in their professional and personal lives.

Today, BEA released new statistics that show how much consumers spent in every state and the District of Columbia last year as well as in years back to 1997.  Besides totals on the amount of consumer spending for each area, the statistics detail what goods and services consumers are actually buying – including motor vehicles, clothing, home furnishings, food, gasoline, housing and utilities, and health care and recreational services.

Here are some highlights from today’s report:

  • Total consumer spending across all states grew 4.2 percent in 2014, with growth ranging from 2.1 percent in West Virginia to 7.4 percent in North Dakota.
  • Across all states, per person (per capita) consumer spending last year was $37,196. Per person spending ranged from a high of $48,020 in Massachusetts to a low of $29,386 in Mississippi.

Yesterday, BEA released new statistics showing the amount and type of new investment made in the United States by foreign direct investors to acquire, establish or expand U.S. businesses.  These statistics covered new investments initiated in 2014 and provided details on these investments including the countries from which the new investment originates, the U.S. industries that are drawing new investments and U.S. states where new investments are located.

Some highlights from yesterday’s report:

  • Expenditures by foreign direct investors for new investment totaled $241.3 billion in 2014.  Expenditures for acquisitions were $224.7 billion—93% of the total expenditures for new investment. Expenditures to establish new U.S. businesses totaled $13.8 billion, and expenditures to expand existing foreign-owned U.S. businesses totaled $2.8 billion.
  • By U.S. state, the largest expenditures, $48.9 billion, were for U.S. businesses in California. The four U.S. states with the largest expenditures by foreign direct investors—California, New Jersey, New York, and Texas—together received over half of all new investment.

These two new data sets are just the latest examples of how BEA is producing data to deepen the public’s understanding of the U.S. economy, the centerpiece of our mission.

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