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Oct 1 -- The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is soliciting comments from the public on its new prototype estimates of Puerto Rico Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which includes statistics for consumer spending, private fixed investment, inventory investment, net exports of goods and services, and government spending for Puerto Rico. BEA seeks comments on the statistics' data sources, presentation, level of detail, and scope. Following the public comment period, BEA will incorporate feedback, updating the statistics and related materials for Puerto Rico GDP. Comments are due by November 2, 2020.
 
Prototype GDP for Puerto Rico https://www.bea.gov/data/gdp/gdp-puerto-rico
FR notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/01/2020-21654/request-for-comment-notice-of-development-of-puerto-rico-gross-domestic-product-statistics
 
In 2018, BEA initiated a project to calculate GDP for Puerto Rico in order to support Puerto Rico's economic recovery following devastating hurricanes in 2017. This project follows technical collaborations between BEA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico dating back to 2010. The project also addresses recommendations from the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico and Government Accountability Office that BEA calculate GDP for Puerto Rico.

The present project—a collaborative effort between the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and BEA—combines the best available Puerto Rico economic data with BEA's current national economic accounting methodologies. The project seeks to produce accurate and objective economic statistics for Puerto Rico comparable to data for other U.S. territories, states, and the nation.

Prototype statistics of GDP and its components for 2012-2018 were published on September 28, 2020. Methodologies incorporated in the statistics included: Using chain-type Fisher indexes to calculate changes in aggregate output and prices; expanding the use of economic census data from the U.S. Census Bureau; treating expenditures on intangible assets as investment to allow users to understand how these intangible assets drive economic growth; and adjusting for inflation at a high level of detail to ensure that the selected price indexes reflect the mix of goods and services produced by the Puerto Rico economy.

BEA is now seeking feedback on these new statistics. BEA will consider this feedback as it continues to refine source data, methodology, and data presentations in preparation for routine production of these data.

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