Archive for the 'Industry' Category

Swim, Sail or Ski to for an Outdoor Rec Preview

BEA’s first look at the outdoor recreation economy is coming Feb. 14, but you can get a sneak peek right now at what the statistics will cover.

We’ve posted the blank data tables on the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account page of Glance over the tables to see how BEA will present its prototype statistics on activities like camping, hunting and boating, as well as related production by industries, such as retail trade, manufacturing and construction.

Our first experimental numbers and a news release will be posted on on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, marking a milestone in BEA’s project to measure the size and growth of the outdoor recreation economy in the United States.

The new data will provide businesspeople, policymakers and the public a detailed look at outdoor recreation’s economic effects – contributions that otherwise would remain obscured within BEA’s broader national statistics, such as gross domestic product (GDP).

The statistics will include gross output by activity – essentially a measure of sales related to biking, sailing, RVing and other outdoor activities.

table stub 2 - gross output by activity

Outdoor recreation’s impact on industries will be measured four ways:

  • Value added – the industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy, or GDP, related to outdoor recreation
  • Gross output – in essence, a measure of outdoor recreation-related sales
  • Employment – the number of jobs related to outdoor recreation
  • Compensation – wages and benefits paid to those employees.

There are lots of ways to define “outdoor recreation.” With input from industry, government and academia, BEA has developed prototype statistics reflecting both a conventional, narrower definition and a broader one.

In the gross output by activity table, you’ll see outdoor recreation activities divided into two categories:

Conventional outdoor recreation – activities that require some level of intentional physical exertion and occur in natural environments, such as snowboarding, canoeing or hiking.

Other outdoor recreation – activities that fall outside the conventional definition but are undertaken for pleasure and occur outdoors, such as playing field sports or visiting water parks.

Together, these two groups form BEA’s “core” outdoor recreational activities. In addition, data will be provided for “supporting” goods and services, which help provide access to outdoor recreation – construction, trips and travel, and government spending.

All of the account’s statistics will be in current dollars, covering the years 2012-2016.

table stub 1 - value added by industry

After releasing these prototype statistics, BEA will gather more feedback to help finalize the definitions, data sources, methodology and presentation it will use when measuring outdoor recreation. Release of final statistics is planned for the fall of 2018. You can add your comments or ask questions by emailing

The outdoor recreation account was established by a 2016 federal law. More information about this project is available on BEA’s website.

The New Way to Find Industry Data Fast

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Interested in industries? Our newest data tool shows you BEA’s statistics about an industry, pulled together in one place.

Industry Facts starts with a printable one-page overview of your industry of choice. There’s also a data table with more statistics and a longer time span, plus options for digging deeper into the numbers.

Industry Facts features an industry’s:

  • Gross output, the total market value of the goods or services it produces.
  • Value added (also known as GDP by industry), which is the value added in the production process; it excludes the value of intermediate inputs, such as raw materials.
  • Intermediate inputs, the raw materials and other goods and services the industry uses in its production.

The Industry Facts tool is a handy shortcut for businesspeople, government officials, researchers, students or anyone who wants to focus on specific industries within BEA’s expansive data.

Wondering which industries are driving the nation’s growth? The Industry Facts main page shows the top six contributors to real gross domestic product in the most recent data available. Hover over one of those six industry icons to see the industry’s contribution to GDP. Or click on the icon to go to that industry’s overview.

You can also get started by choosing your industry of interest — such as construction, finance and insurance, or retail trade — from the dropdown list at the top left of the main page. You’ll get an overview with current-dollar estimates and rates of change, adjusted for inflation, for both gross output and value added. Charts make it easy to spot trends over eight quarters of data. Click the PDF button to print this one-page report.

Need more info? Go to the industry’s Data Table tab for additional statistics, including intermediate inputs, and price indexes for value added, gross output, and intermediate inputs. The table shows the most recent 10 quarters of data available.

Need a longer time frame? The Modify button lets you select your start and end years. It also gives you the option of limiting the types of data shown.

Ready to save or analyze your new table? Use the Download button to export your data in Excel or CSV format.

Want to visualize your data? Click the Chart button to create a customized line chart with data you choose. Within the chart, you can use the circular icon to download your chart as an image file or to save the chart’s data.

Industry Facts includes 31 categories of industries. Twenty-two of these are core groupings from BEA’s GDP by industries statistics (some are North American Industry Classification System sectors and some are BEA’s own groupings). The other nine categories are aggregates. For a description of what’s included in an industry category, see the top of its Overview page.

For further exploration, such as comparing output across different industries, follow the links within an Industry Facts data table to the broader sets of statistics in BEA’s interactive data tables.

If you’re looking for the Industry Facts tool in the future, remember you can find it on the homepage in the Factsheets section. (Click on Industry GDP.) You can also find Industry Facts at the top of’s industry page.

Want to learn even more about an industry or its goods or services? You might want to visit other parts of BEA’s interactive data tables, as well. For example, you can explore consumer spending by type of product in the personal consumption expenditure tables. The input-output tables show interactions with other industries. Or you can research international trade and investment related to your industry.

Have questions or comments about Industry Facts or need help finding BEA’s industry data? Contact

Industry in Focus: How Health Care and Social Assistance Fared in Third Quarter

Health care is an industry that many of us experience firsthand, whether receiving treatment for an illness or injury or simply getting an annual check-up. In the third quarter of 2015, health care and social assistance was the second-leading contributor to the 2 percent increase in the U.S. economy’s growth, providing 0.38 percentage point to real GDP.

Of particular interest: health care and social assistance accelerated from July through September, after decelerating for three consecutive quarters. (We describe an industry as accelerating when its growth in the current quarter is faster than its growth in the previous quarter. Conversely, we describe an industry as decelerating when its growth in the current quarter is slower than its growth in the previous quarter.)

We learn even more about what is happening inside the health care sector when we dig down into the underlying detail tables that we introduced last quarter.

Health care and social assistance consists of four underlying industries—ambulatory health care services, hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and social assistance. A glance at the contributions of the underlying industries reveals that three of the four industries had actually been declining for two quarters.

However, growth in ambulatory health care services (which includes outpatient-services providers such as physicians, dentists, or optometrists) had hidden those declines. In the third quarter those three industries stopped declining and started growing again, which explains why health care and social assistance as a whole both grew and accelerated during the period.

Combining all of these observations from just a handful of tables allows one to paint a rich picture of what’s actually going on in the economy. What started as a relatively straightforward story—“health care grew in the third quarter”—becomes far more interesting when we begin to look at how that growth changed from previous quarters and how different parts of the industry fared.

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