BEA: Late 2018 GDP reports, other key economic indicators delayed due to government shutdown

by Wesley Brown (wesbrocomm@gmail.com) 353 views 

The “advance” snapshot on the nation’s economic growth for all of 2018 will be delayed until further notice due to the partial government shutdown that ended on Jan. 22, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The BEA, which is the nation’s chief economic research group housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, revises Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data two times after the first or “advance” release as more data become available. The “advance” GDP estimates for the fourth quarter and all of 2018 was originally scheduled for release Wednesday, Jan. 30.

However, the BEA only reopened Jan. 28 and is now consulting with the U.S. Census Bureau and other data suppliers to determine the availability of the thousands of data series used to produce economic indicators. President Donald Trump on Jan. 25 delayed his month-long insistence for $5.7 billion in border wall funding and agreed to a spending bill that would end the federal government shutdown until Feb. 8.

“We will then work with the Office of Management and Budget to publish a revised schedule of BEA’s economic releases,” BEA officials said. “Until we know more about when source data will be available, we cannot say anything definitive about release dates for specific economic indicators. We will work through this as quickly as possible and provide information as soon as we can.”

According to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 3.4% in the third quarter. The nation’s GDP, which is the value of goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production — has remained on pace to close out the year at or above the Trump administration’s 3% target for annual GDP growth.

As of Feb. 1, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model forecasts fourth quarter GDP at a modest 2.5%. Besides the quarterly GDP report, the BEA also said other major U.S. economic reports will also be delayed due to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Those reports are:

– Gross Domestic Product by State for the third quarter of 2018, originally scheduled for release on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
– Personal Income and Outlays for December 2018, originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31.
– U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services for December 2018, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5.

In addition, new release dates will be set for three other economic reports that were originally set for release while parts of the government were shut down: U.S. International Investment Position for the third quarter of 2018, scheduled for Dec. 27; U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services for November 2018, scheduled for Jan. 8; and GDP by Industry for the third quarter of 2018, scheduled for Jan. 24.

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