Director’s Message

On October 15th, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released for the first time economic statistics for Puerto Rico. This is an important step toward estimating the island’s gross domestic product (GDP). Data for three specific categories of economic activity were published—consumer spending, business investment, and trade in goods. These categories are major components in the calculation of GDP. Look for more details on these statistics in a future issue of the Survey of Current Business.

In this issue, our Regional Quarterly Report takes a look at state personal income statistics for 2018. State personal income grew 5.6 percent on average in 2018, compared with 4.7 percent in 2017. Growth accelerated in 43 states. The statistics reflect the results of the annual update of state personal income, which was released by BEA in September. It incorporated more complete and more detailed source data than previously available, updates to seasonal factors, and the results of the annual update of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs).

Elsewhere, we discuss new statistics from BEA’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account. These statistics, which cover the period 2012–2017, are the second official release of national-level statistics and the first release of prototype state-level statistics. State-level estimates are available by activity for value added and by industry for value added, employment, and compensation.

We also highlight BEA’s international services statistics; these annual statistics cover U.S. international trade in services in 2018 as well as services supplied by majority-owned U.S. and foreign affiliates of multinational enterprises in 2017. Separate articles present international transactions account statistics and net international investment position statistics for the second quarter of 2019.

Finally, this month’s “GDP and the Economy” article details the third estimates of the NIPAs for the second quarter of 2019.