Monday, September 7, 2015

BEA to Resume Provision of NSA GDP

In an earlier post, I argued for publication of non-seasonally-adjusted (NSA) series. Thanks to a helpful communication from Jonathan Wright, I recently learned (as did he) that BEA will resume compilation and publication of NSA U.S. GDP.

The official announcement is simply, "BEA will develop a NSA GDP that will be released in parallel with BEA’s quarterly GDP estimates." It's buried at the end of the box on p. 5 of "Preview of the 2015 Annual Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts," by Stephanie H. McCulla and Shelly Smith in the June 2015 Survey of Current Business. Rumor has it that we should look for the new NSA series to appear starting in late 2016 or early 2017.

Obviously my No Hesitations post was too late to have influenced the BEA’s decision, but other academic work may have played a role, notably Jonathan Wright's 2013 Brookings Papers piece (which stresses "overadjustment" in seasonally-adjusted data) and Chuck Manski's forthcoming 2015 Journal of Economic Literature piece (which stresses conceptual difficulties with seasonally-adjusted data).

Thanks BEA, for resuscitating NSA GDP. It’s the right thing to do.