September 2015: -40.8° $ billion
August 2015 (r): -48.0° $ billion
September 2015: -1.0° % change
August 2015 (r): -2.1° % change
September 2015: +0.6* % change
August 2015 (r): +0.7* % change
Personal income increased 0.1 percent in September, after increasing 0.4 percent in August. Wages and salaries, the largest component of personal income, remained flat in September after rising 0.5 percent in August.
Current-dollar disposable personal income (DPI), after-tax income, increased 0.1 percent in September after increasing 0.4 percent in August.
Real DPI, income adjusted for taxes and inflation, increased 0.2 percent in September after increasing 0.4 percent in August.
Real consumer spending (PCE), spending adjusted for price changes, increased 0.2 percent in September after increasing 0.4 percent in August. Spending on nondurable goods decreased 0.3 percent in September after increasing 0.3 percent in August.
PCE prices decreased 0.1 percent September, after remaining flat in August. Excluding food and energy, PCE prices increased 0.1 percent in September, the same increase as in August.
Personal saving rate
Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 4.8 percent in September and 4.7 percent in August.
For more information, read the full report.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 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 services increased, notably on health care. Spending on nondurable and durable goods also rose.
State and local government spending, business investment, exports, and residential investment also contributed to the increase in GDP.
Partly offsetting these contributions to GDP growth, private inventory investment fell, mainly in wholesale trade and in manufacturing.
Final sales of domestic product—GDP less inventory investment—increased 3.0 percent in the third quarter.
Personal income and saving
Real disposable personal income (DPI), which adjusts for taxes and inflation, rose 3.5 percent in the third quarter after increasing 1.2 percent in the second quarter.
Personal saving as a percentage of DPI was 4.7 percent in the third quarter, following 4.6 percent in the second quarter.
Prices of energy goods and services turned down in the third quarter, while food prices turned up.
Excluding food and energy, gross domestic purchases prices increased 1.3 percent in the third quarter after increasing 1.2 percent in the second quarter.
For more information, read the full report.
by Cynthia Cox
Kaiser Family Foundation
(This post, from the Kaiser Family Foundation, is based on BEA’s new health care statistics released earlier this year.)
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently updated their disease-based health spending estimates with new data that allows users to examine national health spending trends by disease category from 2000 – 2012. The BEA satellite account differs from the official national health expenditure accounts, developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which break out spending by type of service. This means that, in addition to knowing how much the U.S. spends on hospital care, for example, we can now also know how much the U.S. spends to treat different diseases like circulatory conditions and cancer. (Our blog post on the initial BEA release is here).
The updated BEA data shows that circulatory conditions had been the largest category of spending for at least a decade, until 2012 when they were surpassed by “ill-defined” conditions (a category including check-ups, follow-up appointments, preventive care, and treatment of minor conditions such as colds, flus, and allergies). From 2000 through 2012, ill-defined conditions grew faster than other major category, at an average annual rate of almost 10% per person. Circulatory condition spending per person, by contrast, grew at just 4% over this period.
From 2000 – 2012, treatments for musculoskeletal disorders (which include back problems and arthritis) and circulatory diseases were the second and third largest contributors to overall health services spending growth, following ill-defined conditions. Together, these three disease areas account for 36% of growth in disease-based spending over the period.
Using the BEA satellite account, spending growth can be broken into its components, the cost per case (price and service intensity) and the number of treated cases (utilization). Price indexes in the Health Care Satellite Account differ from official price indexes, such as the consumer price index, in that they are not only influenced by the price of a given treatment, but also by changes in treatment intensity per visits (e.g., getting greater or lesser amounts of care per visit) and shifts from lower-cost to higher-cost treatments for the same condition. For example, from 2000 – 2012, the cost per case grew fastest for infectious diseases (6.1%), nervous system conditions (5.3%), and ill-defined conditions (5.0%) annually while the number of treated cases grew fastest for endocrine (4.4% annually) and ill-defined conditions (4.4% annually).
In its previous release, spanning 2000 – 2010, the BEA estimated that 73% of the growth in per capita health services spending was attributable to increases in the cost per case (e.g. from higher prices or greater service intensity), with the remaining coming from non-price factors (primarily the number of treated cases). Using a similar method described by the BEA, we estimate that over the 2000 – 2012 period, about 65% of per capita spending growth can be attributed to increases in the cost per case, with the remaining 35% due to non-price factors. This estimate differs from that previously released by the BEA because the number of treated cases started to drive growth relatively more in the most recent years. In fact, 2012 was the first time in recent years that the number of treated cases grew faster than the cost per case.
What are we getting in return for these higher-cost treatments? By breaking spending into disease categories, the BEA satellite account brings researchers a step closer to answering this question. Assessing the value of health care spending is difficult for a number of reasons. We would ideally like to know whether the money invested in health care has led to improved health outcomes, but the limited availability of outcomes measures, along with differences in methodology and categorization in outcomes and spending data, and a wide range of factors outside of the health system (socioeconomic, environmental, and scientific) that contribute to health outcomes, all pose challenges to measuring value.
With all of these limitations in mind, one way to look at changes in health outcomes is to use a measure of disease burden called Disability Adjusted Life Years, or DALYs. This measure is useful because it takes into account both premature death and years lived with poor health, and can therefore be used to asses outcomes for leading causes of death (like circulatory disease and cancer), as well as diseases that cause suffering but are less likely to cause death (like musculoskeletal diseases and mental health conditions). Juxtaposing improvements or declines in disease burden with measures of spending by disease for the same diseases can give us an idea of whether we are getting good value in exchange for higher spending.
From 2005 – 2010 (the years of overlap between the DALY and BEA spending data), the increase in health services spending (24%) corresponded with an overall improvement in disease burden (14%). Differences in categorization between the two data sources as well as the limited number of years of data complicate direct comparisons across all disease categories, but a similar trend can be seen for both circulatory diseases and cancers (for which spending increased by 7% and 26% respectively and outcomes improved 21% and 12% respectively). A more comprehensive study by BEA researchers compared spending and outcomes across 30 chronic conditions from 1987 – 2010 and found that “overall gains in health outcomes for the population more than offset the increase in the average cost of treatment, suggesting a positive net value for medical spending.”
September 2015: -58.6° $ billion
August 2015: -67.2° $ billion
The rental vacancy rate in the third quarter 2015 was 7.3 percent, down 0.1 (+/- 0.4)* percentage points from the third quarter 2014 rate of 7.4 percent. The rental vacancy rates in all four regions were not statistically different from the rates a year ago.
3rd Qtr 2015: +7.3* percent
3rd Qtr 2014: +7.4 percent
The homeownership rate in the third quarter 2015 was 63.7 percent, down 0.7 (+/- 0.4) percentage points from the third quarter 2014 rate of 64.4 percent. The homeownership rate in the Northeast was lower than the rate one year ago, while the rates in the Midwest, South and West were not statistically different from the rates in the third quarter 2014.
3rd Qtr 2015: +63.7 percent
3rd Qtr 2014: +64.4 percent
September 2015: -1.2° % change
August 2015 (r): -3.0° % change
September 2015: -11.5 % change
August 2015 (r): +5.2* % change
Written by: John H. Thompson
The United Nations General Assembly designated October 20, 2015 as the second-ever World Statistics Day to highlight the many achievements of national statistical systems across the globe. The U.S. government has a long history of collecting data about the nation’s people, places and economy – beginning with the first census in 1790. Today, the Census Bureau and other federal statistical agencies publish the statistics the nation uses to record progress and plan for the future.
In the United States, quality, timely, accessible data is the foundation of good decision-making. Policy makers at every level of government, businesses of all sizes, and individuals across America all depend on statistics to make informed decisions. That’s why the Census Bureau is committed to continually improving our data sources and statistical methods – to enable better decisions that ultimately result in better lives for all of us.
One of the key ways that the Census Bureau meets that commitment is through the innovative use of technology. The advent of modern computing and the Internet have revolutionized the way we collect, process and share data, and we’re making smart use of technology to make future censuses and surveys more efficient. More than 60 of our censuses and surveys now have an online response option, and in 2017, the Economic Census will move to 100% electronic data collection. In 2020, the decennial census is making the leap from pencil and paper to the Internet. Among the many innovations that will be deployed for the 2020 Census, we’re making it easier and more convenient than ever to complete the census by adding an option for online response. We’re also giving mobile devices with special software to census takers – allowing them securely transmit daily assignments, real-time updates, timesheets, and even calculate the best route for that day’s workload.
Innovation and digital technology also let us share our statistics more widely and easily than ever. We’ve made major upgrades to Census.gov to make Census Bureau statistics as accessible as possible to our more than 40 million annual visitors. We’ve created mobile apps and interactive digital tools to expand access to our statistics – most recently we released Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition to help entrepreneurs get access to statistics that can help them start or grow a business. Our API and the City Software Development Kit give developers and entrepreneurs access to our statistics in a format that makes it easy to mash up and consume.
The possible ways to use all of these readily available statistics are endless. Companies like Zillow and Target are able to understand more about the communities and consumers they serve; government agencies can better simulate the spread of infections diseases and prepare for the next potential outbreak; and educators can change the way their students think about math, numbers and life.
Today I encourage you to learn more about the ways that official statistics help people around the world develop informed policies that improve lives. Visit worldstatisticsday.org to learn more about how the national statistical systems in Indonesia, Germany, New Zealand and many other countries are meeting the challenge of Better Data. Better Lives. Happy World Statistics Day!
Written by: John H. Thompson
Last week I wrote about the series of tribal consultation meetings that the U.S. Census Bureau is holding across the country. These consultations are one aspect of our preparations for the 2020 Census, just like our release of the operational plan last week. This week I am in Anchorage, Alaska to attend the second of the eight consultations, in conjunction with the annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives.
This meeting is especially significant because the Remote Alaska enumeration is the first activity that will kick off the 2020 Census. Between January and April 2020, Census enumerators will visit the most sparsely settled, isolated parts of Alaska – areas that are accessible only by small plane, boat, snowmobile, four-wheel drive vehicles, or dog sled. This enumeration starts early in the year in order to reach the people in these remote locations before the spring thaw, when travel to these areas may be even more difficult.
It’s been a fascinating trip. I’ve enjoyed visiting Alaska, meeting new people, listening to the thoughtful discussions at the tribal consultation – and even seeing local artwork by Alaska Native and Native American artists. I’m so grateful to the people of Alaska for their hospitality.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will be conducting an informational webinar on Thursday, October 22, at 1 p.m., to discuss the BE-180 Benchmark Survey of Financial Services Transactions between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Foreign persons. Topics of discussion will include:
To register, please go to this site and provide the required information.
A Q&A period will follow. To help us anticipate and address questions as thoroughly as possible, attendees are encouraged to submit questions in advance to email@example.com.
For additional information regarding the BE-180 survey, please visit this section on BEA’s Web site.
Written by: John H. Thompson
Today, Census Bureau officials are meeting with representatives from the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes in Minnesota to discuss issues that affect American Indian and Alaska Native communities (AIAN) ahead of the 2020 Census. This is a critical part of our overall communication and outreach efforts directed at ensuring an accurate, cost-effective population count in 2020. I’m excited to collaborate with tribal leaders, and eager to hear their thoughts on how we can better serve their communities.
This is the first of eight tribal consultation meetings, plus a national webinar that all federally recognized tribes will be invited to attend, that the Census Bureau will hold across the country over the next six months. Through these meetings, we hope to meet with representatives from as many of the more than 500 federally recognized tribes as possible. Building awareness about the importance of the 2020 Census is essential in motivating response to the census in communities across our diverse nation, including the AIAN population living both on and off tribal lands. It’s also our responsibility as a government agency, following an Executive Order signed in 2000, that we hold meaningful and accountable consultations with tribes on matters that have significant tribal implications.
Our past collaborations with tribal governments and American Indian organizations have been very productive; I know that AIAN outreach and partnerships can have a big impact from my time overseeing the 2000 Census. We also had great success working with the National Congress of American Indians on the Indian Country Counts campaign during the 2010 Census.
Today’s meeting is the first of many times that we’ll be reaching out to and communicating with the AIAN community ahead of the 2020 Census. We’re keen to build on our government-to-government relationship to receive feedback. Through collaboration, we can make progress in a way that meets the community’s needs, and helps the Census Bureau listen to and use the AIAN population’s input to increase the response rate and accuracy in Indian country. We also want to get information from tribal leaders on topics like outreach and promotion, data collection operations, geography and others.
I’m excited to attend the next tribal consultation on October 14 in Anchorage, Alaska – stay tuned for an update from me about that meeting. I’m confident that by working together, we can make progress in a way that meets the community’s needs, and helps the Census Bureau capture the best possible information about the American Indian and Alaska Native population.
Written by: John H. Thompson
Today is a big day in the U.S. Census Bureau’s planning for the 2020 Census – we are unveiling the operational plan for the most innovative and automated census in our nation’s history.
The census occurs every 10 years and is the largest civilian mobilization effort the nation undertakes. It is the very foundation of our democracy and a constitutional requirement. In 2020, we’ll have just a few short months to count what we estimate will be more than 320 million people in this country – counting them only once, and in the right place. It’s a complicated logistical challenge, and we only have one shot at getting it right.
We’re releasing this plan five years prior to the 2020 Census – three years earlier than we released the 2010 plan a decade ago. This lets us thoroughly test each innovation and refine the plan with those results.
Sweeping innovations in the 2020 Census Operational Plan will make it easier than ever for people to respond, and will save taxpayers more than $5 billion compared to doing the census the old way with pencil and paper. In 2020, the census is making the leap to the Internet. The smart use of technology and information will make the 2020 Census more efficient and accessible.
The most sweeping changes for the 2020 Census focus on these four key innovation areas:
As always, your confidentiality and privacy are important to us. That’s why the plan spells out how we will thoroughly test every component of census operations, piece-by-piece and as a whole. We’re working with some of the best minds in industry to ensure the success of the census, borrowing best practices from global companies. We’ll use layers of information security protections and protocol to secure the systems we use and the data we collect. All data will be encrypted and safeguarded, and all staff are trained to protect it and sworn to maintain confidentiality, under penalty of imprisonment or fines.
In closing, this will be a historic census, a census of “firsts.” The first that most of us will respond to online. The first to use aerial imagery to verify that our list of addresses for the nation is correct and up-to-date. The first that automates follow-up work for those that do not respond to the census – optimizing assignments, letting census takers know right away which households have already responded, and sending them GPS-based, turn-by-turn directions to follow up with households that have not.
The automations and innovations that we’ll use are truly groundbreaking for collecting statistics, and everyone here at the Census Bureau is excited to roll out these plans for the American public.
To learn more about the 2020 Census operational plan, tune in to our webcast event today at 1pm ET.
The U.S. monthly international trade deficit increased in August 2015 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit increased from $41.8 billion in July (revised) to $48.3 billion in August, as exports decreased and imports increased. The previously published July deficit was $41.9 billion. The goods deficit increased $6.6 billion from July to $67.9 billion in August. The services surplus increased $0.1 billion from July to $19.6 billion in August.
Exports of goods and services decreased $3.7 billion, or 2.0 percent, in August to $185.1 billion. Exports of goods decreased $4.1 billion and exports of services increased $0.4 billion.
Imports of goods and services increased $2.8 billion, or 1.2 percent, in August to $233.4 billion. Imports of goods increased $2.5 billion and imports of services increased $0.3 billion.
Goods by geographic area (seasonally adjusted, Census basis)
For more information, read the full report.
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.