Chronicling 100 Years of the U.S. Economy

October 2021
Volume 101, Number 10

The 2021 Annual Update of the Industry Economic Accounts

Revised Statistics for 1999–2020 and the First Quarter of 2021

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On September 30th, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its annual update of the Industry Economic Accounts (IEAs). The update includes quarterly and annual estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) by industry, including real, nominal, and price data on value added, gross output, and intermediate inputs. The update covered 1999 through 2020 for annual estimates and the first quarter of 2005 through the first quarter of 2021 for quarterly estimates. The reference year for price and quantity estimates remains 2012.

The update to the IEAs also reflects incorporation of the results of the 2021 annual update of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs) and the 2021 annual update of BEA's International Transactions Accounts (ITAs).1

Annual updates are conducted to maintain the accuracy and relevance of BEA's statistics. As is usual, the updated estimates reflect newly available source data that are more complete, more detailed, and otherwise more reliable than those that were previously incorporated. The incorporation of new and revised source data and the incorporation of the results of the 2021 annual updates of the NIPAs and the ITAs were the primary drivers of the revisions in the annual update of the IEAs. Overall, the revised statistics continue to reflect the same picture of economic growth observed in the previously published estimates.

Source data

The updated estimates reflect the incorporation of newly available and revised source data that are regularly included in annual updates and became available after last year's annual update in September 2020. A summary of major source data incorporated is listed in table 1.

Principal sources of data used to construct current-dollar and chained-dollar estimates for benchmark and nonbenchmark years can be found in tables A and B. Principal sources of data used to construct the quarterly estimates can be found in table C.

Sources of revisions

The IEAs are a consistent time series that are fully integrated with the NIPAs; thus, the results of the 2021 annual update of the NIPAs directly affect the industry statistics. For details on methodology improvements, major source data incorporated, and results, see The 2021 annual update of the National Income and Product Accounts in the August Survey of Current Business. Revisions for the recent period (the first quarter of 2016 through the first quarter of 2021) resulted mainly from the incorporation of the revised and newly available source data noted above into the NIPA estimates of personal consumption expenditures, corporate profits, and net interest. Revisions to the industry statistics also reflected the following methodology improvements introduced with the 2021 annual update of the NIPAs.

  • Beginning with 2002, BEA introduced a new methodology to improve the accuracy and reliability of the estimates for housing services. The housing services methodology now uses microdata on housing units from the Census American Community Survey (ACS).2 The ACS data provide a single official statistical source for estimates of individual housing units and facilitate a more transparent methodology. The new method, introduced in the annual updates of the NIPAs on July 29th and the Regional Economic Accounts on October 1st, harmonizes the measures of housing services across BEA's national and regional statistical programs.3
  • The finance sector estimates now reflect measures of imports of services furnished without payment by financial intermediaries that are fully harmonized with the corresponding measures from the NIPAS and ITAs. Measures of the imports of these “implicit” services are now included; previously, only exports of these services were recorded. During last year's annual updates of the NIPAs and the IEAs, imports of these services were introduced back to 2015 only. With this year's annual updates, imports of these services were recorded back to 1999. Measures of the implicit services provided by commercial banks were also updated to include the services produced by international banking facilities.
  • Also in the finance sector, the accuracy and consistency of the estimates are improved by recording quarterly and annual federal government payments of interest on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities on an accrual basis and by introducing a more consistent allocation of the inflation adjustment to annual measures of interest paid to businesses, persons, and the rest of the world. With last year's annual updates of the NIPAs and the IEAs, this improvement was introduced back to 2015 only. This year, the methodology was extended back to 1999.

Revisions to the industry estimates also resulted from improvements that were specific to the IEAs. This year, BEA introduced several new industry-specific methodology improvements and extended back to 1999 an improvement to customs duty deflation that was previously introduced only back to 2015 in the last update.

  • Estimates of industry gross operating surplus (GOS) are improved by making more direct use of BEA's gross domestic income (GDI) by industry data. Historically, BEA's approach to estimating GOS has used industry gross output as the main indicator with further adjustments incorporated based on a review of GDI by industry and other data sources. BEA switched to using GDI data as the main indicator for certain industries where research indicated it was the better long-term predictor of annual SOI data—the preferred measure of GOS is not available until after the release of initial estimates.
  • BEA updated the methodology for the motor vehicles and parts manufacturing industry to make direct use of Wards Intelligence production data, resulting in improved statistics that are better aligned with the NIPA motor vehicle output estimates.
  • The IEAs now make more direct use of Energy Information Agency (EIA) quantity data on electricity generation and distribution rather than developing this data indirectly using EIA nominal data and BLS prices as in the past.
  • Finally, BEA has extended the use of an improved deflator for customs duties back to 1999 to better account for rapid shifts in tariff rates observed in recent years. This change was introduced back to 2015 in last year's annual update of the IEAs. These prices are now measured implicitly based on nominal measures of customs duties and a corresponding measure of real goods imports from the NIPAs. This improved price measure better captures changes in both the duty rates and the prices of underlying imported products. Previously, BEA primarily used BLS import price indexes to measure price changes in customs duties.

Supply-use tables

New supply-use tables (SUTs) for 2020 and revised SUTs for 1999-2019 are available with the 2021 annual update of the IEAs.4 The supply table presents the total supply of goods and services from both domestic and foreign producers available for use in the domestic economy. The use table shows the use of this supply by domestic industries as intermediate inputs and by final users, including exports. The tables also show value added by industry.

Revisions to annual percent changes in real value added by industry group for the recent time period (the first quarter of 2021 and years 2016 to 2020) are discussed below.5 Revised and previously published estimates with the revision in percent change are presented in Table 2.

First quarter 2021

The percent change in real GDP for the first quarter of 2021 was revised down from 6.4 percent to 6.3 percent. Private goods-producing industries was revised up 0.5 percentage point to 5.9 percent. Private services producing industries was revised down 0.3 percentage point to 7.4 percent. Government was revised up 0.8 percentage point to 1.0 percent. The direction of growth in real value added was unrevised in 19 of 22 major industry groups, with mining, nondurable-goods manufacturing, and federal government as the exceptions.

  • The largest to contributor to the upward revision in private goods-producing industries was an upward revision to nondurable-goods manufacturing (led by petroleum and coal products manufacturing).
  • The largest contributors to the downward revision in private services-producing industries were downward revisions to wholesale trade, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services.

2020

Real GDP growth was revised up 0.1 percentage point for 2020 from −3.5 percent to −3.4 percent. An upward revision to government was partly offset by downward revisions to private goods-producing industries and to private services-producing industries (chart 1). Government was revised up 1.2 percentage points to −0.9 percent; private goods-producing industries was revised down 0.2 percentage point to −2.9 percent; and private services-producing industries was revised down 0.1 percentage point to −4.0 percent. The direction of change was unrevised for all 22 major industry groups.

  • The upward revision to government reflected an upward revision to state and local government that was slightly offset by a downward revision to federal government (national defense).
  • The leading contributors to the downward revision to private goods-producing industries were durable-goods manufacturing and construction.
  • The downward revision to private services-producing industries reflected downward revisions to accommodations and food services, real estate and rental and leasing (more than accounted for by a downward revision to real estate), and educational services. Notable offsets to the downward revision in these industries included upward revisions to wholesale trade and to finance and insurance.

2019

Real GDP growth was revised up from 2.2 percent to 2.3 percent for 2019. An upward revision to private services-producing industries was partly offset by a downward revision to private goods-producing industries and government. Private services-producing industries was revised up 0.2 percentage point to 2.6 percent; private goods-producing industries was revised down 0.1 percentage point to 2.1 percent; and government was revised down 0.4 percentage point to 0.6 percent. The direction of change was unrevised for 21 of 22 major industry groups, with agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting as the only exception.

  • Wholesale trade and finance and insurance (led by revisions to Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related activities and to securities, commodity contracts, and investments) were the leading contributors to the upward revision to private services-producing industries.
  • Downward revisions to agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting and to durable-goods manufacturing (mainly computer and electronic products manufacturing and motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts manufacturing) led the downward revision to private goods-producing industries. These downward revisions were partly offset by an upward revision to construction.
  • The downward revision to government reflected a downward revision to state and local government.

2018

Real GDP growth was revised down from 3.0 percent to 2.9 percent for 2018. Downward revisions to private goods-producing industries and to government were partly offset by an upward revision to private services-producing industries. Private goods-producing industries was revised down 0.7 percentage point to 3.3 percent; government was revised down 0.2 percentage point to 0.8 percent; and private services-producing industries was revised up 0.2 percentage point to 3.2 percent. The direction of change was unrevised for 20 of 22 major industry groups, with utilities and finance and insurance as the only exceptions.

  • The leading contributor to the downward revision for private goods-producing industries was mining (mainly oil and gas extraction).
  • The downward revision to government reflected a downward revision to state and local government.
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services led the upward revision to private services-producing industries. The revision was led by an upward revision to miscellaneous professional, scientific, and technical services.

2017

In 2017, real GDP growth was unrevised at 2.3 percent, primarily reflecting a downward revision in private services-producing industries that was largely offset by an upward revision in private goods-producing industries. Private services-producing industries was revised down 0.3 percentage point to 2.3 percent; private goods-producing industries was revised up 0.7 percentage point to 3.0 percent; and government was revised down 0.1 percentage point to 1.0 percent. The direction of change was unrevised for all 22 major industry groups.

  • Finance and insurance industries and wholesale trade were the leading contributors to the downward revision to private services-producing industries. The revision in finance and insurance was led by downward revisions to securities, commodity contracts, and investments; Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related activities; and insurance carriers and related activities.
  • Upward revisions to private goods-producing industries were widespread, led by durable-goods manufacturing (mainly for machinery and for motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts) and nondurable-goods manufacturing (mainly chemical products).
  • Growth in government was revised down slightly from 1.1 percent to 1.0 percent.

2016

In 2016, real GDP growth was unrevised at 1.7 percent, reflecting a downward revision in private services-producing industries that was largely offset by an upward revision in private goods-producing industries. Private services-producing industries was revised down 0.1 percentage point to 2.1 percent; private goods-producing industries was revised up 0.3 percentage point to 0.5 percent; and government was unrevised at 1.0 percent. The direction of change was unrevised in 21 of 22 major industry groups, with durable goods as the only exception.

  • The downward revision to private services-producing industries was led by real estate and rental and leasing (mainly housing services).
  • Nondurable-goods manufacturing (led by food and beverage and by tobacco products) and durable-goods manufacturing (mainly for primary metals and for motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts) were the leading contributors to the upward revision to private goods-producing industries.
  • Growth in government was unrevised in 2016.

Data availability and methodology

Data availability. Industry estimates include real, nominal, and price data on value added, gross output, and intermediate inputs for both annual and quarterly frequencies. Annual statistics are available for 1947 onward. In addition, more detailed annual statistics at the 138-industry level are available as part of the underlying detail for the IEAs for 1997 onward. Quarterly statistics are available at the 71-industry level for the first quarter of 2005 onward. In addition to these data, the industry estimates include a selection of input-output statistics including SUTs and direct and total requirements tables for 2020 and revised tables for 1999–2020.

The entire time series of industry statistics are available interactively on the BEA website. The GDP by industry section includes real, nominal, and price statistics for value added, gross output, intermediate inputs, and KLEMS (K-capital, L-labor, E-energy, M-materials, and S purchased services) statistics as well as access to the underlying detail tables. The input-output section includes an annual time series of supply-use tables as well as total requirements tables. The 2007 and 2012 benchmark tables are also available as integrated parts of the time series.

Methodology. For information on the methodology for preparing the annual statistics, see Donald D. Kim, Erich H. Strassner, and David B. Wasshausen, “Industry Economic Accounts: Results of the Comprehensive Revision and Revised Statistics for 1997–2012,” Survey 94 (February 2014). For information on the methodology used for preparing the 2012 benchmark input-output tables, see Concepts and Methods of the U.S. Input-Output Accounts on the BEA website. For information on the methodology for preparing the quarterly statistics, see Erich H. Strassner and David B. Wasshausen, “New Quarterly Gross Domestic Product by Industry Statistics,” Survey 94 (May 2014).

 


  1. For more information, see “The 2021 Annual Update of the National Income and Product Accounts,” Survey of Current Business 101 (August 2021) and Ami Adjoh-Baliki and Jason Sutterley, “Annual Update of the U.S. International Transactions Accounts,” Survey 101 (July 2021).
  2. The ACS is an annual survey that replaces the discontinued “long form” of the Census Bureau's Decennial Census of Population and Housing. For more information about the ACS, see the Census Bureau's website.
  3. For more information on the new source data and estimating method underlying measures of housing services, see Dylan G. Rassier, Bettina H. Aten, Eric B. Figueroa, Solomon Kublashvili, Brian J. Smith, and Jack York, “Improved Measures of Housing Services for the U.S. Accounts,” Survey 101 (May 2021).
  4. Beginning with the 2018 comprehensive update of the IEAs, the supply-use framework is BEA's featured presentation of input-output tables. For detail, see Jeffrey A. Young, Thomas F. Howells III, Erich H. Strassner, and David B. Wasshausen, “BEA Briefing: Supply-Use Tables for the United States,” Survey 95 (September 2015).
  5. The quarterly statistics for 2005–2020 were benchmarked to the corresponding annual estimates described below and incorporate revisions resulting from updated quarterly source data and revised seasonal factors. However, the revisions to these quarterly estimates typically follow the revisions to the annual estimates and are therefore not described in detail.