This paper provides an overview of the source data and the estimating methods used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to prepare the quarterly estimates of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). When BEA prepares its first estimates of quarterly GDP, a wide mix of source data are used. In some cases, these data are not as complete or as detailed as desired. Over time, more complete and detailed data are received that are more consistent with the concepts and framework of the national accounts. Consequently, BEA has a regular schedule for revising its estimates to reflect the most accurate source data and to incorporate the most appropriate estimating methods. This paper describes the various source data and estimating methods used to prepare the current- and constant-price estimates of quarterly GDP; it describes how these data and methods change over the course of a GDP revision cycle.
Prepared for the 10th OECD-NBS Workshop on National Accounts | Paris, France