Archive for the 'National' Category

Want to Build Apps Using BEA Economic Data? BEA Launches API

Developers, are you looking for a way to bring some of the most closely watched economic data into your next app? You can now build apps using BEA economic statistics, thanks to BEA’s new application programming interface (API). The API provides direct access to gross domestic product (GDP) and related national economic statistics, along with regional economic statistics.api_blog

The BEA API allows developers to build a service to search, display, analyze, retrieve, or view BEA statistics. For example, you can create a “mashup” that combines BEA data with other government or private data sources to create new services or give your users a different perspective on their communities. Or you can design a tool that gives your users new ways to visualize economic data.

The API includes methods for retrieving subsets of BEA statistical data and the meta-data that describes it using HTTP requests. It delivers data in two industry-standard formats: XML (Extensible Markup Language) and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation).

A beta version of the service launched in May and was featured during the National Civic Day of Hacking.

To use the API, you need to register here. Full documentation is available in the API User Guide.

BEA’s Industry Economic Accounts to Hit Major Milestone

Roughly every 5 years, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) releases comprehensive revisions of its major economic accounts. These revisions are generally more detailed than annual revisions, implementing changes in methods, statistics and definitions to better reflect an ever-evolving economy. In December, BEA will release the 2013 comprehensive revision of the Industry Economic Accounts (IEAs), which includes two main sets of statistics, the annual industry accounts and the benchmark input-output (I-O) accounts. That will follow the release in July of a comprehensive revision of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs), or GDP accounts.

The upcoming comprehensive IEA revision will mark a significant milestone: the full integration of the IEAs with the NIPAs, which was first suggested in a March 2004 article in the Survey of Current Business and later amplified in other articles. This enhanced integration, which has long been recommended by economists, will allow for a higher degree of consistency among these widely followed accounts, offering a more consistent view of industry dynamics within the overall economy.

A preview of the 2013 comprehensive revision of the IEAs was published in the June 2013 issue of the Survey.

GDP Growth Slows in First Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after rising 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter, according to estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The first-quarter growth rate was unchanged from the second estimate released in May.

GDP highlights
Net exports increased (after decreasing in the fourth quarter), consumer spending accelerated, and residential housing investment picked up in the first quarter. These positive economic contributions, however, were more than offset by a slowdown in inventory investment.

The slowdown in inventory investment reflected a sharp downturn in the manufacturing and wholesale industries. In contrast, retail inventory investment turned up, especially by motor vehicles dealers.

Revisions to GDP
For the third estimate of first-quarter real GDP growth, upward revisions to net exports and business investment in structures were offset by downward revisions to consumer spending, inventory investment, and state and local government spending.

Disposable income and saving
Real disposable personal income—which adjusts personal income for taxes and inflation—rose 0.7 percent in the first quarter, compared with 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter. The personal saving rate—saving as a percentage of disposable personal income—was 3.7 percent, compared with 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter. The personal saving rate has declined for six quarters in a row.

Corporate profits
First-quarter corporate profits fell 0.3 percent at a quarterly rate following a 0.9 percent rise in the fourth quarter. First-quarter nonfinancial profits rose 1.4 percent after rising 2.6 percent, and financial profits rose 5.7 percent after rising 7.0 percent. Profits from the rest of the world fell 11.8 percent after declining 9.2 percent.

The first-quarter decline reflected a 2.2 percent drop in receipts from abroad and a 15.9 percent rise in payments to entities abroad.

To learn more about gross domestic product, read the full report.

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