I am forwarding an email from the Association of Public Data Users (APDU) listserv.
Although it isn't specific to Census data, I thought it might be of interest,
particularly to larger MPOs.
Elaine Murakami, FHWA
From: Andrew Reamer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Mon 6/14/2004 7:04 PM
To: APDU Listserv
Subject: [APDU] BEA Gross Metro Product
The following article regarding the possibility of a BEA Gross Metro Product
series appeared in the June issue of Stat-Scan, the monthly newsletter I
co-publish for EconData.Net
). Please review and consider
responding to BEA with your thoughts.
Gross Metro Product: A Data Series Whose Time Has Come? BEA Wants to Hear
The regional accounts folks at the
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis are a
pretty inventive bunch, creating highly useful regional data series on a
budgetary shoestring. They produce one of EconData.Net's favorite data
series, the Regional Economic Information System (REIS), which provides the
nation's most comprehensive tally of income and employment at the state,
metro, and county level. About ten years ago, BEA's enterprising analysts
unveiled Gross State Product (GSP), estimates of state-level economic
activity as measured by value added, for 63 industries and the state as a
whole. Typically, GSP estimates have been released 17 months after the end
of the calendar year; BEA has partial funding to reduce that lag to 6
While the GSP acceleration effort is underway, BEA staff are planning future
regional data enhancements, one of which, potentially, is producing annual
estimates of Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP), by industry. However, with
budgetary constraints and pressing priorities on other topics (e.g.,
measuring offshoring activity), funding for a GMP series is difficult to
obtain. As practicing regional analysts ourselves, we know that a GMP series
would be a highly valuable addition to the practitioners' and researchers'
analytic toolbox. At present, we don't truly know the size and composition
of our regional economies as they unfold over time, a glaring hole in our
understanding. REIS provides total income figures, but total income reflects
only about two-thirds of regional value-added activity. While Global Insight
(formerly DRI-McGraw-Hill) annually produces GMP estimates on behalf of the
U.S. Conference of Mayors (see
20604.pdf), the relative accuracy of these estimates can be questioned (of
necessity, they use a top-down rather than bottom-up methodology) and
disaggregation by industry and component is not provided.
Now is your chance to provide your opinion. Would an annual Gross
Metropolitan Product series be of value to you? As EconData.Net
to one of the largest data-using communities in the country, we ask you to
let BEA hear your thoughts. A GMP series will not appear unless data users
express strong support. A critical mass of positive words from you and your
colleagues will have influence on top BEA executives, the BEA Advisory
Council, and appropriate Congressional committees as funding decisions are
made for upcoming fiscal years.
So: If you think that the availability of GMP would be of value, please take
a moment and write an e-mail to that effect to John Kort, Chief, BEA
Regional Economic Analysis Division, at john.kort(a)bea.gov. It'd be helpful,
we think, to say a bit about the nature of your work and interests and how
you would use a GMP series to enhance them. Please cc EconData.Net
(comments(a)econdata.net) so we can keep track of the communications. If you
want to get a sense of how a GMP series would look, you can explore the GSP
web site (http://www.bea.gov/bea/regional/gsp.htm
In a couple months, once BEA absorbs your missives, we'll let you know how
they've been received; if a funding request for GMP develops "legs,"
periodically update you on progress, and may ask you to weigh in again, if
necessary. Historically, the regional data community has not been a vocal,
well-organized constituency that is effective in seeing its needs are
addressed in federal budget and program decisions. Consider this request an
experiment in making ourselves heard.
APDUmem mailing list