Archive for the 'BEA News' Category



U.S. Current-Account Deficit Increases in Fourth Quarter 2017

The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $128.2 billion (preliminary) in the fourth quarter of 2017 from $101.5 billion (revised) in the third quarter of 2017. As a percentage of U.S. GDP, the deficit increased to 2.6 percent from 2.1 percent. The previously published current-account deficit for the third quarter was $100.6 billion.

Quarterly Current-Account

• The deficit on international trade in goods increased to $214.3 billion from $195.3 billion as goods imports increased more than goods exports.
• The surplus on international trade in services increased to $60.4 billion from $60.0 billion as services exports increased more than services imports.
• The surplus on primary income decreased to $57.2 billion from $58.5 billion as primary income payments increased more than primary income receipts.
• The deficit on secondary income (current transfers) increased to $31.5 billion from $24.7 billion as secondary income receipts decreased and secondary income payments increased.

Net U.S. borrowing from financial-account transactions was $29.8 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $121.8 billion in the third.
• Net U.S. acquisition of financial assets excluding financial derivatives was $177.9 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $350.7 billion in the third.
• Net U.S. incurrence of liabilities excluding financial derivatives was $208.4 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $491.0 billion in the third.
• Net lending in financial derivatives other than reserves was $0.8 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $18.6 billion in the third.

For more information, read the full report.

Initial Estimates Show Digital Economy Accounted for 6.5 Percent of GDP in 2016

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released, for the first time, preliminary statistics and an accompanying report exploring the size and growth of the digital economy. Goods and services that are primarily digital accounted for 6.5 percent of the U.S. economy, or $1.2 trillion, in 2016, after a decade of growing faster than the U.S. economy overall, BEA’s research shows.

From 2006 to 2016, the digital economy grew at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent, outpacing overall U.S. economic growth of 1.5 percent per year.

In 2016, the digital economy supported 5.9 million jobs, or 3.9 percent of total U.S. employment. Digital economy employees earned $114,275 in average annual compensation compared with $66,498 per worker for the total U.S. economy.

BEA includes in its definition of the digital economy three major types of goods and services:

  • the digital-enabling infrastructure needed for an interconnected computer network to exist and operate
  • the e-commerce transactions that take place using that system
  • digital media, which is the content that digital economy users create and access.

Under this definition, that includes goods and services, such as computer hardware and software, telecommunications services, margins on retail e-commerce transactions, and subscriptions to online streaming services, to name a few.

Because of the limitations of available data, the estimates released today include only goods and services that are “primarily digital.” This means that some components of the digital economy, like peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce, also known as the sharing economy, are excluded from the initial estimates. P2P transactions such as ride-sharing services rely on internet-enabled devices to match supply and demand, but also have a non-digital component of in-person provision of services.

These new estimates are supported in part by funding from the Commerce Department’s National Information and Telecommunications Administration. The estimates pull out information about the digital economy already embedded in BEA’s core statistics, such as GDP, and are the first step toward a future digital economy satellite account. Satellite accounts, like those for outdoor recreation or arts and culture, complement BEA’s core statistics by focusing on a specific industry or activity.

You can find the report and the data on the digital economy page at bea.gov. To submit comments or feedback or to ask a question about these new estimates, email DigitalEconomy@bea.gov. Feedback will help BEA refine and expand the digital economy estimates moving forward.

Initial Statistics on the Size and Growth of the Digital Economy to be Released Thursday

The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release, for the first time, preliminary statistics and an accompanying report exploring the size and growth of the digital economy at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 15.

The report will be available at BEA’s website, www.bea.gov.

The report will include in its definition of the digital economy three major types of goods and services:

  • the digital-enabling infrastructure needed for an interconnected computer network to exist and operate
  • the e-commerce transactions that take place using that system
  • digital media, which is the content that digital economy users create and access

This definition includes goods and services like computer hardware and software, telecommunications services, margins on retail e-commerce transactions, and subscriptions to online streaming services, to name a few.

Because of the limitations of available data, the estimates to be released Thursday include only goods and services that are “primarily digital.” This means that some components of the digital economy, like peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce, also known as the sharing economy, are excluded from the initial estimates. P2P transactions such as ride-sharing services rely on internet-enabled devices to match supply and demand, but also have a non-digital component of in-person provision of services.


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