DEFINITION of 'Bureau of Economic Analysis - BEA'

The Bureau of Economic Analysis is a division of the U.S. federal government's Department of Commerce that is responsible for the analysis and reporting of economic data used to confirm and predict economic trends and business cycles. Reports from the Bureau of Economic Analysis are the foundation upon which many economic policy decisions are made by government, and many investment decisions are made in the private sector by companies and individual investors.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bureau of Economic Analysis - BEA'

Among the most influential statistics analyzed and reported by the BEA are the gross domestic product data and the balance of trade for the United States. The BEA uses data collected at local, state, federal and international levels. Furthermore, the BEA collects data on foreign direct and indirect investment in the U.S. and on individual industries that operate around the globe.

What The BEA Does

The Bureau of Economic Analysis says its mission is to promote a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant, and accurate economic accounts data in an objective and cost-effective manner.

"BEA produces economic accounts statistics that enable government and business decision-makers, researchers, and the American public to follow and understand the performance of the Nation's economy. To do this, BEA collects source data, conducts research and analysis, develops and implements estimation methodologies, and disseminates statistics to the public.

BEA is one of the world's leading statistical agencies. Although it is a relatively small agency, BEA produces some of the most closely watched economic statistics that influence the decisions made by government officials, business people, households, and individuals. BEA's economic statistics, which provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the U.S. economy, are key ingredients in critical decisions affecting monetary policy, tax and budget projections, and business investment plans. The cornerstone of BEA's statistics is the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), which feature the estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) and related measures."

The GDP report is one of the BEA's most crucial outputs. Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. Though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis, it can be calculated on a quarterly basis as well (in the United States, for example, the government releases an annualized GDP estimate for each quarter and also for an entire year).

The GDP reports are frequently readjusted for previous quarters after new factors are taken into account.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Corporate Profit

    Corporate profit is the money left over after a corporation pays ...
  2. Government Purchases

    Government purchases are expenditures and gross investment by ...
  3. Economic Growth Rate

    An economic growth rate is a measure of economic growth, typically ...
  4. Economics

    Economics is a branch of social science focused on the production, ...
  5. Economic Cycle

    The economic cycle is the ebb and flow of the economy between ...
  6. Economic Conditions

    Economic conditions are the state of the economy in a country ...
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    Make America Grow Again?

    The BEA's second estimate for fourth-quarter GDP growth was … fine.
  2. Insights

    Q4 GDP Comes in Soft as Trump Prepares to Address Congress

    At less than 2%, quarterly GDP growth remains low. Can Trump provide the bump he's promised?
  3. Investing

    Depression-Era Headwinds Restrain the Economy

    The U.S. population is growing at its lowest rate since 1937, during the Great Depression. Trump’s goals for economic expansion may be at risk.
  4. Investing

    Business Cycle

    The business cycle refers to the fluctuations in economic activity that an economy experiences over a period of time. It consists of expansions, or periods of economic growth, and contractions, ...
  5. Insights

    Top Ten US Economic Indicators

    We explain the most important economic indicators for the US economy.
  6. Managing Wealth

    How to start your own private foundation

    Learn how to start your own private foundation. Private foundations can be time consuming and expensive, but many find the endeavor worthwhile.
  7. Trading

    Why Interest Rates Affect Everyone

    Learn why interest rates are one of the most important economic variables and how every individual and business is affected by rate changes.
  8. Insights

    3 Economic Challenges the US Faces in 2016

    Learn about the three biggest challenges facing the U.S. economy heading into 2016, and discover why there are fears of another recession.
  9. Trading

    The Fundamentals Of Forex Fundamentals

    Charting is not the only way to analyze the foreign-exchange market. Learn how to apply fundamental analysis to the economic indicators.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What impact does economics have on government policy?

    Learn about the impact of economic conditions on government policy and understand how governments engineer economic conditions ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is it better to use fundamental analysis, technical analysis or quantitative analysis ...

    Understand the difference between fundamental, technical and quantitative analysis, and how each measurement helps investors ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are some of the limitations and drawbacks of economics as a field?

    Find out why the field of economics is full of controversy. Policy decisions, political campaigns and personal finances are ... Read Answer >>
  4. When should I use seasonally adjusted data from the consumer price index (CPI)?

    Learn what seasonally adjusted data is, how it is determined and when it should be used to evaluate the information gathered ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are common use cases for marginal analysis?

    Read about some of the common uses of marginal analysis, including cost-benefit decisions in business or deciding how to ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Enterprise Value (EV)

    Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company's total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market ...
  2. Relative Strength Index - RSI

    Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains to recent ...
  3. Dividend

    A dividend is a distribution of a portion of a company's earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of its shareholders.
  4. Inventory Turnover

    Inventory turnover is a ratio showing how many times a company has sold and replaces inventory over a period.
  5. Watchlist

    A watchlist is list of securities being monitored for potential trading or investing opportunities.
  6. Hedge Fund

    A hedge fund is an aggressively managed portfolio of investments that uses leveraged, long, short and derivative positions.
Trading Center