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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Interior and Commerce Committed to Expand Measures of Economic Activity for America Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and the U.S Virgin Islands



Date: March 1, 2012
For more information please contact:
Rebecca Zepeda (202) 208-6974
Rebecca_Zepeda@ios.doi.gov

Governor Togiola, Secretary Salazar, Assistant Secretary Babauta  Photo Credit: Tami Heilemann DOI

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) and the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will expand the current measures of economic activity for American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and the U.S. Virgin Islands to include additional information to gauge territorial economic performance.  The announcement comes days after OIA and BEA jointly presented to Governors and Members of Congress representing U.S. insular areas at the Senior Plenary Session of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas.

In the past few years, OIA/BEA have collected and published data for gross domestic product (GDP), gross domestic income (GDI), and their major components for each of the four territories.  The work published by the Federal government was a first for the territories in the nation's history and standardizes data on par with that of the fifty states.  In each island, OIA/BEA has worked collaboratively with staff from each of the territorial governments.

Along with continued publication of estimates for GDP and GDI, additional estimates will be included for the following measures:

  1. GDP by Industry

  2. Compensation of Employees by Industry

  3. Detailed Consumer Spending

The GDP by Industry statistics will provide the insular areas with information on the share of each industry in the economy and each industry's contribution to the overall real GDP growth or decline.  This will also demonstrate how much each industry contributes to the overall inflation rate for the economy.

The Compensation of Employees by Industry statistics will provide estimates of compensation, which equals wages and salaries plus supplements to wages and salaries, for major industries of the economy.  These measures will be useful for tracking compensation trends for key industries within the territorial economies.

The Detailed Consumer Spending statistics will provide additional information on the components of consumer spending, or "personal consumption expenditures," and will be available on a nominal and a real basis.  These measures will show how household spending patterns have changed over time and how the composition of goods and services purchased by households has changed.

"A critical component of the work we do here at OIA is to equip island leaders with the necessary resources to design and execute their own economic growth and development policies.  Having data that is the "gold-standard" and that is nationally recognized and accessible is an essential part of realizing this," said Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta.

The new measures are scheduled to be released in the summer of 2012, in conjunction with the publication of the 2010 estimates of GDP for each territory.

Information regarding insular area GDP data may be found at the following site: http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm#gdp.