Need economic data?
We've got your
number

This guide highlights just a few of the numbers we've got for you at BEA. The latest statistics, with subcategories and historical trends, are available elsewhere on bea.gov. You'll find links to many of them in the sections below.

Need more help understanding the numbers? See the website's glossary and FAQ, articles and blog posts, and information about methodologies and source data.

Questions? Contact us at CustomerService@bea.gov or (301) 278-9004.

About our numbers

  • Independently produced
  • Publicly released on a set schedule
  • Free to all at bea.gov

Who we are

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis is your source of accurate and objective data about the nation's economy.

What we do

BEA's economists produce some of the world's most closely watched statistics, including U.S. gross domestic product, better known as GDP. We do state and local numbers, too, plus foreign trade and investment stats and industry data.

Why we do it

Governments of all levels, businesses big and small, and Americans everywhere rely on our numbers. BEA's work underpins decisions about interest rates and trade policy, taxes and spending, hiring and investing, and more.

All from a source that's nonpartisan, nonpolitical and neutral on policy.

Want to print this booklet?

Want to size up the economy?
We've got
GDP
numbers

The total value of the goods and services produced in the United States in one year is the gross domestic product. The GDP's growth rate tells Americans how their economy is doing. It's an economic barometer watched around the world. BEA also estimates GDP for states, metropolitan areas and industries.

What can you do with GDP numbers?

Answer questions like:

  • How fast is the U.S. economy growing?
  • How does my state's economy stack up against others?
  • Which industries are taking off? Which are slowing?

What else?

GDP numbers help the White House and Congress plan taxes and spending. They help the Federal Reserve set monetary policy. State and local governments rely on them, too. Business people use these stats when making decisions about jobs, expansion, investments and more. Researchers use them to study the national, state and local economies.

BEA estimates GDP for:

The United States quarterly and annually
50 states and D.C. quarterly and annually
Metropolitan areas annually
Industries quarterly and annually

Plus:
A new way to look at
health care spending

BEA's economists are looking at health care more like a patient does. They've started measuring health care not only as goods and services provided, but also by the type of disease being treated, such as cancer or heart trouble.

These newer statistics, called the Health Care Satellite Account , are helping answer questions like:

  • Which diseases cause the most spending?
  • For which diseases is the price of treatment rising fastest?
  • When spending on a disease rises, is it because prices rose or because more people got treatment?

BEA is researching other ways to improve our health care stats. A big goal: data that would capture changes in the effectiveness of care, as well as the cost. In other words, as the price of treating a disease rises, are patients getting better outcomes or just paying more?

Meanwhile, we continue to measure health care spending in the traditional way, too by the products and services delivered, such as medicine or doctor's office visits.

Wondering how much Americans make and spend?
We've got
income
and
spending
numbers

Money that people get from paychecks, business ownership, rental property, interest and dividends is personal income.

Disposable personal income is what's left after paying their taxes.

The goods and services people buy are personal consumption expenditures.

The income that's left after people spend their money and pay taxes is personal saving.

BEA releases personal income statistics for:

The United States monthly, quarterly and annually
50 states and D.C. quarterly and annually
Local areas annually

And personal consumption expenditures for:

The United States monthly, quarterly and annually
50 states and D.C. annually

BEA reports the U.S. personal saving rate monthly, quarterly and annually.

What can you do with income, spending and saving numbers?

Answer questions like:

  • How do incomes in your state compare with the nation?
  • How much are people spending and what are they buying?
  • Are Americans saving more or less than last year?

What else?

Personal income numbers help the United States allocate hundreds of billions in federal funds to state and local governments each year. Income and spending data help businesses predict consumer behavior, and they improve understanding of the national and regional economies. They help researchers study the interplay between Americans' incomes, spending and saving.

Plus:
How far a dollar goes
in your state

You might guess that a dollar stretches further in Mississippi than in New York. But do you know how much further? Or the difference between a dollar in Dallas and a dollar in Dubuque?

We've got numbers for that.

You can compare buying power across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, or across the nation's metro areas, with BEA's Regional Price Parities, which measure differences in price levels.

For example, what you could buy for 86 cents in Mississippi cost $1.15 on average in the state of New York (or $1.19 in Hawaii, the costliest state), price parities for 2015 show. In other words, prices in New York were 34 percent higher than in Mississippi.

Knowing this can help a worker decide whether to take a job transfer or help a couple choose where to retire. Companies consider differences in price levels when locating a new office or setting salaries. Local boosters use these numbers to promote their towns.

Regional prices also add perspective to regional pay. In addition to the annual release of Regional Price Parities, BEA produces price-adjusted income data that show how the per capita incomes of states and metro areas compare when prices are taken into account.

As for those metro areas: 92 cents in Dubuque, Iowa, would buy goods or services that cost $1 in Dallas. The value of a dollar in Dallas, meanwhile, was right at the national average.

Interested in trade and investment with the world?
We've got
international numbers

Our trade in goods and services data are best known for capturing the trade gap — the difference between U.S. exports and imports. BEA also estimates the United States' deficits or surpluses with individual nations and shows what's being traded with whom.

International investment position is a statistical balance sheet showing the values of American-owned assets abroad and foreign-owned assets in the United States at a given time.

Balance of payments numbers (also called the international transactions accounts) give a broader view of the economic activity between the U.S. and other nations. That includes trade in goods and services, financial investments and associated income, and foreign aid. Among these stats, the current account balance is especially popular as an economic indicator.

Direct investment data provide information on the economic ties between affiliated companies in the U.S. and abroad, including transactions, assets, liabilities, sales, employment and more. Plus, we publish data on new foreign direct investment that enters the United States each year.

What can you do with international trade and investment numbers?

Answer questions like:

  • Where does the U.S. have large trade deficits or surpluses?
  • What are its top exports of goods? What about services?
  • How many U.S. workers are employed by foreign-owned firms?

What else?

International trade numbers help policymakers and the public understand how exports and imports affect the U.S. economy. Negotiators use these stats when making trade agreements. Businesses use them to learn about export markets. Economic boosters use them to attract foreign investment to their areas. The data provide insight into the effects of foreign ownership inside the United States and the operations of U.S. companies abroad.

BEA releases data on:

Trade in goods and services monthly, quarterly and annually
International transactions quarterly and annually
International investment position quarterly and annually
Activities of multinational enterprises annually
New foreign direct investment annually

Plus:
Numbers for the
road (or sky, or sea)

Hitting the road just for fun? Flying cross-country on business? Either way, you contribute to BEA's travel statistics. People watch these numbers to get an industry update and for clues to the future of the larger economy.

Travel and tourism contribute more than a trillion dollars to the U.S. economy each year. But their full effect is hard to isolate in BEA's national accounts. After all, a person who buys lunch, theme park tickets and gasoline might be a tourist or a local.

To sort out travel's share of the economy, and to see whether it's trending up or down, BEA created the Travel and Tourism Satellite Account.

We report on direct tourism spending, like highway tolls and hotel bills, as well as spending that's indirectly related, like those little bottles of shampoo that hotels leave by the sink. We tally up the nation's tourism jobs, such as flying airplanes or selling Sunshine State souvenirs, as well as tourism-related jobs, like making the plastic used in Florida-shaped keychains.

With BEA's travel and tourism numbers, you can answer questions such as:

  • How does the industry's growth compare with the rest of the U.S. economy?
  • Are travel and tourism jobs on the rise?
  • Are travelers spending more or less these days on airfare? Lodging? Recreation?

Want to see how businesses are doing?
We've got
corporate profit
numbers

The financial health of corporate America is measured by corporate profits. BEA estimates the combined earnings of the nation's corporations by adding up their current production minus their expenses. We also do corporate profit numbers for industries. We measure profits several ways, including before and after taxes.

What can you do with corporate profit numbers?

Answer questions like:

  • Which industries are making the most money?
  • Are overall U.S. corporate profits up or down?
  • What's the profit trend for an industry?

What else?

Corporate profit numbers help investors track the health of industries and corporate America overall. They help the government predict how much tax corporations will owe. Analysts use them to forecast spending on factories and equipment. They help researchers assess how hard particular industries were hit by an economic shock, such as a natural disaster.

BEA releases corporate profits quarterly and annually.

Plus:
Arts
and
culture
in the spotlight

There's no business like show business — but art museums, fashion design and historic sites play special roles in the economy, too.

BEA showcases these and other arts and cultural activities by estimating their economic impact nationwide and in every state.

The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account measures the contributions of music groups, dance troupes and theaters; natural parks, zoos and all sorts of museums; interior design, graphic design and photography; and much more. We also look at the fields that support them, such as broadcasting, publishing, grant giving, and manufacturing of cameras and musical instruments.

Check out the state data to see how each state ranks in arts and cultural employment and how its concentration of these jobs compares with the national average. You'll see the jobs aren't only in California and New York. Western states, for example, get a boost from parklands and American Indian cultural activities.

For this account, BEA developed a definition of arts and cultural production that's similar to those used in other countries. It pulls together in one place, with added detail, economic activity that's always contributed to GDP but couldn't be easily identified within BEA's data.

These numbers paint a clearer picture of the arts and culture economy — and help contributors far beyond Hollywood and Broadway share in the spotlight.

Need to find it fast?
We've got
shortcuts

Need a number in a hurry? Head to one of these timesavers on bea.gov :

U.S. Economy at a Glance

A roundup of GDP, personal income, the current account balance and other key numbers.

For more detail, follow the links to highlights, charts and news releases.

View the Economy at a Glance

Country Facts

Choose a country for an instant overview of its trade and investment with the United States.

Print a fact sheet or dive into data tables for all the details.

View our Country Facts

BEAR Facts

It's short for BEA Regional Facts — a look at each state's economy with its GDP, top industries and personal income stats, plus links to more data.

There's a personal income report for each county and metro area, too.

View the BEAR Facts

Industry Facts

Focused on one industry? Find all BEA's quarterly data about it in one place.

View and print a summary or dig deeper in the data tables.

View our Industry Facts

Need even more numbers?
We've got
data tools

Whether your computer skills are just the basics or you're a seasoned developer, bea.gov has tools to help you explore our data.

Find details and trends

BEA's Interactive Data tool helps you pluck the information you need from a sea of statistics. Most of our numbers are there, organized by topic and reaching back decades. Select the data and time period you want. Use the tool to create tables or charts, download data files or spreadsheets, print your data, or share on social media.

Do more with developers' tools

Our API , or application programming interface, helps programmers and analysts search, retrieve and analyze large subsets of BEA's national, international, regional or industry data.

If R is your language

The bea.R open source library and its universe of tools help programmers who want to use the R language to make it easier to sift, sort and visualize the data in our API.

Coming soon...
Exploring
outdoor numbers

Hiking and hang gliding, pedaling and paddling, bow hunting and birdwatching — it's all part of our new statistical project.

BEA is developing economic data on outdoor recreation. That means measuring the jobs, spending, and production of goods and services for a wide range of leisure activities.

Defining exactly what should count as "outdoor recreation" can be complicated. For help with definitions and other questions, BEA is working closely with the Federal Recreation Council, which is made up of prominent stewards of public lands and waters; consulting with the outdoor recreation industry; gathering information from experts in outdoor economics; and reaching out to the public for comments and suggestions.

Plans were made to produce the first experimental statistics for the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account in early 2018.

BEA will gather feedback on the prototype statistics to help finalize the account's definitions, data sources and methodology.

We hope this new dataset makes a splash — and deepens Americans' understanding of how fishing, camping, skiing and other outdoor pursuits fit into the economic landscape.

To share your comments about measuring outdoor recreation, email OutdoorRecreation@bea.gov.

Not sure which numbers you need?
Here's a
quick list
by topic

The U.S. economy

  • Gross domestic product
  • Gross domestic income
  • Personal consumption expenditures
  • Personal income
  • Corporate profits
  • Private fixed investment
  • Fixed assets
  • Consumer durable goods
  • Government receipts and expenditures
  • Measures of price growth
  • Integrated BEA-Federal Reserve macroeconomic accounts
  • Integrated BEA-Bureau of Labor Statistics production account

State and local economies

  • GDP by state
  • GDP by metropolitan area
  • GDP for U.S. territories
  • Personal income for states, counties and metro areas
  • Personal consumption expenditures by state
  • State and metro area price parities
  • BEAR Facts (quick data about states, counties and metro areas)

Industries

  • GDP by industry
  • Gross output
  • Employment
  • Wages and salaries
  • Input-output data
  • Fixed assets
  • Industry Facts (quick data by type of industry)
  • Integrated BEA-Bureau of Labor Statistics industry-level production

Foreign trade and investment

  • Trade in goods and services
  • Balance of payments (international transactions)
  • International investment position
  • U.S. direct investment abroad
  • Foreign direct investment in the United States
  • New foreign direct investment
  • Activities of multinational enterprises
  • Country Facts (quick data by country or country grouping)

Special topics

  • Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account
  • Health Care Satellite Account
  • Travel and Tourism Satellite Account
  • Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (in development)

Find definitions and more information about these statistics, plus lots more data not mentioned here, at bea.gov.

(301) 278-9004 | CustomerService@bea.gov