November 20, 2020

Outdoor Recreation Is an Economic Force; Accounts for Over 2 Percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product

November 20, 2020

How is the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) study different from the OIA economic study?
The featured BEA measures include gross output, a measure of outdoor recreation goods and services produced by domestic industries; and value added, a measure of the contribution of outdoor recreation industries to gross domestic product (the primary measure of economic activity in the nation). OIA’s study measures consumer spending on all gear-related expenses and associated travel for outdoor recreation, including spending on imported products.

How does the $842B nominal gross output ($788B real gross output*) contribution line up with the OIA’s $887 billion consumer spending on outdoor recreation?
Both are true, they just measure different economic contributors. The BEA satellite account measures gross output while OIA’s study measures consumer spending on all gear-related expenses and associated travel for outdoor recreation.

It is important to note; the BEA estimate only includes the wholesale and retail mark-ups applied to imported products while the OIA’s figures report all consumer spending.

* Current-dollar estimates are valued in the prices of the period when the transactions occurred—that is, at “market value.” Also referred to as “nominal estimates” or as “current-price estimates.” Chained-dollar (Real) estimates are calculated by taking the current-dollar level of a series in the base period and multiplying it by the change in the chained-type quantity index number for the series since the base period. Chained dollar estimates correctly show growth rates for a series but are not additive in periods other than the base period.

What is the methodology of the OIA Outdoor Recreation Economy Report?
BEA’s analysis for the time period 2012-2019 was just released on November 10. We have not had an opportunity to review the methodology at this point, but what we do know is that our economic report is based on consumer spending, while the BEA’s numbers are focused on measuring gross output and value added.

Essentially, our economic report – which is basic economic input-output modeling – starts with the consumer and works down to the manufacturing/imports point. The BEA goes the opposite direction, starting with production in manufacturing and other industries and works up to the consumer. This approach uses different data sets and methods which accounts for differences, too.

What is the difference between gross output and value added (or GDP)?
Gross output (GO) is the measure of total economic activity in the production of goods and services. It is a much broader measure of the economy than gross domestic product (GDP), which measures final output (finished goods and services).