Increasing the Timeliness of U.S. Annual I-O Accounts (PDF)

The timeliness of the U.S. input-output (I-O) accounts is a major concern for policymakers and industry analysts, as well as academics. In response, the Bureau of Economic Analysis initiated research in 2001 to identify, develop and implement an estimating method for producing more timely and reliable annual I-O accounts than are currently available. The research included reviewing the frameworks and methods currently used by other statistical agencies and academic researchers, obtaining more timely industry source data, and developing enhanced methods and processes for the automated updating and balancing of annual I-O tables. The results of this research indicate that our new automated updating and balancing method can reduce time lag for producing the annual I-O accounts from three years to one year without reducing quality. Our method is based on an adjusted RAS process that simultaneously balances the I-O table in producers’ and purchasers’ prices; uses more exogenous data; and processes tables at the most detailed level.

Mark A. Planting and Jiemin Guo