9/29/2009 6:27:40 AM
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released 2008 statistics on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by metropolitan area
nearly a year ahead of previous schedules. Just two years ago, this program was on the chopping block because of budget cuts, but today, it seems hard to fathom that this data would not be available. The discontinuation of GDP statistics by metro area will in my estimation mark one of the low points in federal economic statistics. Many local economic development officials desperately need more timely local data and should be pleased with this development. The recession is having very different effects on local economies and this data helps to illuminate some of that picture. That said, acceleration will come with some costs to accuracy. Here is more on the methodological change from their press release:
This is the first release of accelerated GDP-by-metropolitan-area statistics. These accelerated statistics for 2008—released one year earlier than previous statistics—are prepared for NAICS sectors and are based on a more limited set of source data and on an abbreviated estimation methodology compared to the data and estimation methodology used to prepare the new 2007 statistics and the revised statistics for 2005-2006. The accelerated GDP-by-metropolitan-area statistics are based primarily on preliminary earnings-by-industry data from BEA's regional economic accounts, released August 6, 2009, and on advance GDP-by-state data released June 2, 2009.
More information on the methodology used to produce the accelerated 2008 statistics, on the new statistics for 2007, and on revisions to the GDP-by-metropolitan-area statistics for 2005-2006 will appear in an article in the October 2009 issue of the Survey of Current Business, BEA's monthly journal.