Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was revised up 0.6 percentage point from the “advance” estimate released in October. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.9 percent.
The third-quarter increase in real GDP mainly reflected a rise in consumer spending. Spending on nondurable and durable goods increased. Spending on services also increased, notably on health care.
Business investment, state and local government spending, residential investment, and exports also contributed to the increase in real GDP.
These contributions to real GDP growth were partly offset by a decline in inventory invest- ment, notably in manufacturing. Also, imports, a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
Real final sales of domestic product—GDP less inventory investment—increased 2.7 percent in the third quarter, compared with a 3.9 percent increase in the second quarter.
The revision to real GDP growth reflected an upward revision to private inventory investment that was partly off- set by downward revisions to consumer spending and to exports.
Corporate profits decreased 1.1 percent at a quar- terly rate in the third quarter after increasing 3.5 percent in the second quarter.
Over the last 4 quarters, corporate profits de- creased 4.7 percent.
For more information, read the full report.
Written by: John H. Thompson
On November 3, I presented the Census Bureau’s operational plan for the 2020 Census – the blueprint by which we’ll conduct the next census – to Congress and the public. I was excited to tell the House Subcommittees on Government Operations and Information Technology about the depth and strength of our plan. Today, I want to go over some of the highlights from my testimony about the operational plan and our preparations for the 2020 Census.
In 2013, in response to funding constraints, we prioritized the 2020 Census research program. At that point we established the end of Fiscal Year 2015 as a key milestone for releasing the operational plan for the 2020 Census. I was pleased to inform the Subcommittees that we had met that goal, and that our plan is supported by solid research, including the 2014 and 2015 tests.
I was proud to report that in 2020 we will no longer use the paper-and-pencil processes that have characterized each census since 1970. The operational plan lays out four key areas of innovation that will ultimately deliver $5.2 billion in savings to the American taxpayers. The 2020 Census will be the most automated census ever, and we’re developing technologies and systems that will increase the efficiency of administering the once-a-decade headcount. We’re taking full advantage of the opportunity to innovate and using off-the-shelf technological advances from the last 10 years.
The operational plan details our research on the infrastructure that we need to take the census online. Through testing and development, we’ve developed prototype systems that incorporate mobile technology and optimal work assignments. A key component of these efforts is the Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing (CEDCaP) initiative, a new agency-wide approach to survey and census data collection and processing. We’re simplifying and integrating – moving to a small suite of shared, reusable systems instead of creating duplicative systems for each survey and census. This new, sustainable approach will enable us to conduct a modernized 2020 Census.
I also told the Subcommittees about our plans to manage the risks associated with delivering the most automated census ever, including:
Based on my experience in overseeing the 2000 Census and in the private sector, I am confident that the plan outlined above will lead to a successful implementation of our automation and systems development for 2020. Right now, we are on schedule to deliver a census in 2020 that is both innovative and cost effective – but we’re also at a critical juncture. In order to execute a 2020 Census that reduces costs while maintaining quality, we must receive adequate funding for the entire lifecycle. By investing now, we can save more than $5 billion while ensuring we produce an accurate and cost-effective Census.
I must emphasize again how pleased I was to have the opportunity to update our oversight subcommittees in the House of Representatives, and to tell them that we’re on schedule to deliver a 2020 Census that is that is both innovative and cost effective. By taking a proactive approach in researching and testing modern, groundbreaking methods, we can make the 2020 Census the most cost-effective and automated Census ever.
What are consumer spending patterns in California compared to New York? Which states are attracting new foreign investment? How are different industries in each state performing on a quarterly basis? Those are just a few examples of the kinds of new statistics that the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is producing to give entrepreneurs even more economic intelligence as they chart strategies on marketing, investing, and hiring.
These new statistics, which will soon be released, join a raft of existing BEA data that offer entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and households detailed insights into what is happening on the economic front in the United States, in states, metro areas, and counties, and in the global marketplace. BEA data also offer timely insights on the economic impact of major industries, such as finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, manufacturing, and health care.
BEA’s existing economic statistics are available for free on our Web site, our interactive tables, and through our API. We also have some additional handy data tools to easily and quickly obtain fast facts on regional economic activity (BEARFACTS) as well as trade and investment activity between the United States and another country of your choosing (Country Facts).
In addition, BEA also has available a regional economic impact tool that enables entrepreneurs and other business people to estimate the regional impacts of a variety of projects, such as the development of a new manufacturing plant or the construction and development of a sports stadium. That tool is called the Regional Input-Output Modeling System, or RIMS II, for short, and is available for a fee.
Debuting on November 30, BEA will release new statistics detailing new foreign direct investment in the United States. These statistics, which cover new direct investments initiated in 2014, will provide information on:
Then, on December 1, BEA will begin producing on a regular basis another new set of statistics detailing how much consumers are spending in each state on goods and services, such as food and beverages, gasoline and other energy products, housing and utilities, and health care.
The data, called personal consumption expenditures by state, will provide statistics for 2014 back to 1997, a series that will give entrepreneurs and other business people useful information to analyze consumer buying trends over time.
One week later, BEA on December 10 will start producing on a regular basis yet another new set of statistics providing information on states’ economic performance each quarter, including which industries are helping or hindering economic activity.
Industries tracked include manufacturing, agriculture, mining, utilities, retail, transportation and warehousing, information, and finance and insurance. These new statistics called gross domestic product by state will provide data for the second quarter of 2015 back to the first quarter of 2005.
WASHINGTON – New statistics detailing the amount and type of new direct investment made in the United States by foreign investors will be released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Monday, Nov. 30.
The data will be available in a news release on BEA’s website at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. The statistics cover new direct investments initiated in 2014 and will provide information on:
Business people, economists, researchers and policymakers can use the data to help them assess the impact of foreign direct investment on the U.S. economy. The data can also be used by foreign entrepreneurs and others seeking to invest in the United States to make more informed business decisions. And, the data can be used by national and state policymakers to shape programs to attract foreign direct investment.
BEA previously collected similar information on new investments but discontinued doing so in 2009 because of budget constraints.
Personal income grew in 2014 in 2,662 counties, fell in 438, and was unchanged in 13. On average, personal income rose 4.6 percent in 2014 in the metropolitan portion of the United States and rose 3.2 percent in the nonmetropolitan portion. The metropolitan and nonmetropolitan portions grew 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, in 2013. The percent change from 2013 to 2014 in personal income ranged from -35.1 percent in Wallace County, Kansas to 83.7 percent in McPherson County, Nebraska.
Per capita personal income—personal income divided by population—is a useful metric for making comparisons of the level of personal income across counties. Per capita personal income for 2014 ranged from $15,787 in Wheeler County, Georgia to $194,485 in Teton County, Wyoming.
For more information, read the full report.
Statistics detailing the activities of U.S. affiliates of foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) are now available from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The statistics, which provide information for the first time for 2013 as well as updated data for 2012, offer details on the finances and operations of U.S. affiliates of foreign MNEs, including their employment and compensation, sales, value added, capital expenditures, trade in goods, and expenditures for research and development.
Here are some highlights from the statistics:
For more information, read the full article in the November Survey of Current Business.
In August 2015, statistics on the activities of U.S. multinational enterprises (including U.S. parent companies and their foreign affiliates).
October 2015: -11.0* % change
September 2015 (r): +6.7* % change
September 2015: +0.3 % change in Inventories
August 2015 (r): +0.1* % change in Inventories
October 2015: +0.1* % change
September 2015 (r): 0.0* % change
The Department of Commerce provides valuable services and data products that fuel the modern technology services Americans rely on every day. These data sets include information on technological innovation from the Patent and Trademark Office, demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, export data from the International Trade Administration, and information on natural phenomena from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is why we call the Department of Commerce “America’s Data Agency.”
However, as technology constantly and rapidly advances, people across the country are using public and private sector data in new and exciting ways to drive their businesses and improve society. The vast data resources at the Department of Commerce are contributing to this technological growth. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker recognized this as an opportunity and challenged the Federal government to innovate with data to improve the way we deliver to our customers, the American people.
Consider these opportunities for improving our data to positively impact America’s competitiveness:
All of these are not just data challenges, but also business challenges. That’s why the Department of Commerce is excited to announce a new initiative to deliver these kinds of solutions: the Commerce Data Service.
Built in the spirit of America’s entrepreneurial technology ventures, the Commerce Data Service is a start-up within government, that consists of diverse team of top-notch designers, developers, software engineers and data scientists. We are passionate about our mission, building new tools, and delivering improved ways to get work done. We are agile product developers transforming government services by building world-class software products and raising standards of software development throughout the Department of Commerce. Through partnerships with the twelve bureaus that make up the Commerce Department, the Data Service will deliver products and services to help government agencies better deliver information to their customers.
To help this initiative get off the ground, I am pleased to announce that the Department has hired Dr. Tyrone Grandison to lead our team as the Deputy Chief Data Officer. Dr. Grandison brings a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur, consultant and software engineer, most recently serving at the Department of Labor as a Presidential Innovation Fellow.
Now we’re actively recruiting data experts, from outside and inside government, from three general professional areas:
If you are an expert data geek, there is no better way to have a giant impact while improving our government than to join the Commerce Data Service. For more information, and to submit your resume for potential employment consideration, please visit commerce.gov/dataservice.
September 2015: +0.5 % change in Inventories
August 2015 (r): +0.3 % change in Inventories
This quarter, Industry in Focus is actually Industries in Focus. Beginning with this quarterly GDP by Industry release, we’re delighted to introduce a new set of products—the Quarterly Underlying Detail Tables. Previously, quarterly GDP by industry statistics were only available for 22 industries. The new underlying detail tables provide the same data for 71 industries, allowing for even more in-depth analysis of economic trends.
The industries we’ll discuss this quarter highlight some of the advantages of these new data. In the second quarter of 2015, the finance and insurance industry was the largest contributor to GDP growth, contributing 0.84 percentage point to the overall 3.9 percent increase in real GDP. Finance and insurance is an aggregate of four detailed industries—Federal Reserve banks and credit intermediation; securities, commodity contracts, and investments; insurance carriers; and funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles. With the new underlying detail tables, we can now see that these industries exhibited differing behavior, with three of the four finance and insurance industries showing strong growth. Federal Reserve banks and credit intermediation grew 18.2 percent, contributing 0.48 percentage point to the growth in real GDP; insurance carriers grew 13.2 percent, contributing 0.33 percentage point; and funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles grew 69.0 percent, contributing 0.13 percentage point. At the more detailed 71-industry level, these three industries were the second, fourth, and thirteenth largest contributors to growth. This helps to explain why the aggregate finance and insurance industry was the largest contributor to growth at the 22-industry level.
However, you may have noticed that securities, commodity contracts, and investments actually contracted in the second quarter, decreasing 6.6 percent and subtracting 0.10 percentage point from real GDP growth. Without the underlying detail data, this piece of information would go unnoticed. Growth in finance and insurance was strong because of the three other industries, but underlying detail lets us see that not all of the finance and insurance industries had a strong quarter.
A logical question to ask is, “Why would one industry contract in the second quarter when three related industries grew?” The answer is that each of the four industries has a different focus, even though all four relate to finance or insurance. The securities and commodity contracts industry includes establishments that underwrite and make markets for securities and commodities, act as agents between buyers and sellers of securities and commodities, and manage portfolios of assets. If you own shares of a company’s stock or follow the Dow Jones Industrial Average, you’re well acquainted with the activities of this industry.
Federal Reserve banks and credit intermediation, on the other hand, encompass two activities that don’t work directly with securities. Federal Reserve banks and similar monetary authorities manage the country’s money supply, while credit intermediation involves much of what you typically think of as consumer and commercial banking—taking in deposits and lending funds. While the Federal Reserve banks and credit intermediation industry and the securities and commodity contracts industry both relate to finance, and while the two industries can have an impact on each other, they don’t necessarily exhibit the same growth.
In the second quarter of 2015, for example, the decline in the securities and commodity contracts industry may be traced to concerns in the stock market, perhaps reflecting worries about the Greek debt crisis and uncertainty about whether or not the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. This may have led investors to pull money out of the stock market, as both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average fell during the quarter.
Where did that money go? Some of it may have gone to regular savings banks, as evidenced by the growth in credit intermediation. The FDIC reported that in the second quarter, net income for FDIC-insured institutions (which includes your neighborhood bank) was the highest on record. This was reflected in the industry’s strong growth. Concerns about the stock market can lead investors to pull their money out of the market and place it in the more stable accounts offered by savings institutions. Conversely, a strong stock market can lead investors to put more of their money into securities.
You can see this in our historical data. In nine of the past fourteen quarters, Federal Reserve banks and credit intermediation moved in the opposite direction of securities and commodity contracts. So while the two industries broadly deal with finance, their differing roles within finance mean they often differ in growth. This example illustrates some of the many benefits of the quarterly underlying detail tables. The new detail enhances economic analysis much in the same way that quarterly GDP-by-industry data provides more tools to analyze national GDP. The standard quarterly GDP-by-industry data allow users to see differing patterns among industries; similarly, the quarterly underlying detail tables enhance the ability of users to see differing patterns within industries.
Finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and wholesale trade were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the second quarter of 2015. Overall, 18 of 22 industry groups contributed to the 3.9 percent increase in real GDP in the second quarter.
For more information, read the full report.
The U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased in September 2015 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit decreased from $48.0 billion in August (revised) to $40.8 billion in September, as exports increased and imports decreased. The previously published August deficit was $48.3 billion. The goods deficit decreased $7.3 billion from August to $60.3 billion in September. The services surplus decreased $0.1 billion from August to $19.5 billion in September.
Imports of goods and services decreased $4.2 billion, or 1.8 percent, in September to $228.7 billion. Imports of goods decreased $4.4 billion and imports of services increased $0.1 billion.
Goods by geographic area (seasonally adjusted, Census basis)
For more information, read the full report.
September 2015: -40.8° $ billion
August 2015 (r): -48.0° $ billion
September 2015: -1.0° % change
August 2015 (r): -2.1° % change
The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) plays three key roles within the Department of Commerce (DOC). ESA provides timely economic analysis, disseminates national economic indicators, and oversees the U.S. Census Bureau (Census) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In this latter role, ESA works closely with the leadership at BEA and Census on high priority management, budget, employment, and risk management issues, integrating the work of these agencies with the priorities and requirements of the Department of Commerce and other government entities.