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Bureau of Economic Analysis

Survey of Current Business

Table of Contents
 May 1997

Selected articles may be accessed by clicking on the links below. (An Acrobat (PDF) version of the table of contents is also available; however, links to other files will work only when you use Acrobat Reader 4.0.)

Special in this issue

6 Completion of the Comprehensive Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts, 1929–96 (PDF)

The release of the following estimates marks the completion of the most recent comprehensive revision of the NIPA’s: Revised NIPA estimates for 1929–58, revised estimates of reproducible tangible wealth for 1929–95, and revised and newly available NIPA estimates of selected series for 1959–96 that reflect the work undertaken to complete the 1929–58 NIPA and 1929–95 wealth estimates. For 1929–58, the growth rate of real GDP is revised up from 2.8 percent to 3.4 percent, and the average annual increase of GDP prices is revised down from 2.4 percent to 1.9 percent; these revisions largely reflect the introduction of BEA’s new chain-type measures. Beginning with 1959, the revisions to the annual changes of both real GDP and GDP prices are small; national income and personal income are revised up to reflect the revisions to the wealth estimates.

58 BEA’s Chain Indexes, Time Series, and Measures of Long Term Economic Growth (PDF)

BEA’s new chain-type annual-weighted indexes of real output and prices provide significantly more accurate measures for analyses of long-term economic growth and business cycles. The indexes are more accurate, but they are also computationally more difficult to use than the old fixed-weighted "constant dollar" estimates. When the chain-type indexes were introduced last year, BEA provided chained (1992) dollar estimates and contributions to growth tables. However, there are conceptual and empirical problems with using chained dollar estimates for analysis of periods that are far from the base period. Therefore, with the release of chain-type estimates beginning with 1929, BEA is providing additional sets of estimates to assist in long-term analyses. BEA is also considering further work to improve its chain-type measures for recent periods.

69 Improved Estimates of Fixed Reproducible Tangible Wealth, 1929–95 (PDF)

BEA’s estimates of fixed reproducible tangible wealth have been revised to incorporate the results of last year’s comprehensive revision of the NIPA’s. The major improvement is the introduction of a methodology that uses empirical evidence on the prices of used equipment and structures in resale markets, which has shown that depreciation for most types of assets approximates a geometric pattern. For equipment, the new methodology results in a more rapid pattern of depreciation in the early years of an asset’s life and a slower pattern in the later years; for structures, the new methodology results in a slower pattern of depreciation throughout the life of an asset. In addition, the estimates of real net stocks and depreciation are improved by the introduction of chain-type indexes that allow for the eVects of changes in relative prices and in the composition of output over time.

Regular features

1 Business Situation (PDF)

In the first quarter of 1997, real GDP increased 5.6 percent—its biggest increase in more than 9 years—up from a 3.8-percent increase in the fourth quarter of 1996. The first-quarter strength was evident in personal consumption expenditures, inventory investment, producers’ durable equipment, and exports. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.2 percent in the first quarter after increasing 2.6 percent in the fourth.

93 Personal Income and Per Capita Personal Income by State and Region (PDF)

Personal income in the Nation increased 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 1996 after increasing 1.4 percent in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Nevada had the largest increase in personal income, 2.3 percent. In the year 1996, per capita personal income in the Nation increased 4.5 percent, while prices paid by U.S. consumers increased only 2.2 percent. In all States except Alaska and Hawaii, the increase in per capita personal income exceeded the increase in U.S. prices.

Reports and statistical presentations

10 Summary National Income and Product Series, 1929–96 (PDF)

30 Revised and Newly Available NIPA Estimates, 1991–95 (PDF)

D–1 BEA Current and Historical Data

National Data:

D--2 Selected NIPA Tables (PDF)
D--27 Other NIPA and NIPA-Related Tables (PDF)
D--36 Historical Tables (PDF)
D--47 Domestic Perspectives (PDF)
D--49 Charts (PDF)

International Data:

D–57 Summary U.S. international transactions (PDF)

D–63 Investment tables (PDF)

D–68 International perspectives (PDF)

D–70 Charts (PDF)

Regional Data:

D--71 State and regional tables (PDF)

D--75 Local area table (PDF)

D--77 Charts (PDF)


D--79 Appendix A: Additional information about BEA’s NIPA estimates (PDF)
D--81 Appendix B: Suggested reading (PDF)

Inside back cover: BEA Information (PDF)

(A listing of recent BEA publications available from the Government Printing Office)

Back Cover:  Schedule of Upcoming BEA News Releases (PDF)



Gross State Product by Industry. The results of a comprehensive revision of BEA’s annual estimates of gross state product (GSP) by industry for 1977–94 will be presented in a forthcoming issue of the SURVEY. The estimates will incorporate the recent comprehensive revisions of the NIPA’s and of the estimates of State personal income, as well as several changes to the GSP source data and methodology. Major improvements include the introduction of chain type measures of real GSP and the introduction of measures of State level government consumption of fixed capital.