EMSI is pleased to announce that this autumn’s Strategic Advantage update will include the addition of gross regional product (GRP) estimates to the Economic Impact module. GRP, which is also called “regional GDP” and defined as the market value of all goods and services produced within a given area over a specific period of time, is a good measure of the size, income, and productivity of a regional economy. EMSI’s new methodology, which to our knowledge is the first of its kind and available from no other source, allows GRP to be calculated for county-level, custom-defined regions as well as metropolitan statistical areas. Moreover, the key components of GRP—earnings, profits, taxes, and subsidies—will be shown separately (all in nominal dollar amounts). The data will be offered for the years 2002 to 2007.
Practical uses of GRP for researchers and policy analysts include:
- Showing a fuller picture of regional economic health (output and income) than simply total jobs. Two cities may have an equal number of jobs, but one may significantly outperform the other in terms of total output as measured by GRP.
- Measuring regional recessions. Nationally, economists typically describe recessions as extended periods of decline in the U.S. national GDP, and GRP can be used in a similar way for sub-national regions.
- The underlying components of GRP will eventually allow EMSI to add a new dimension to its regional input-output modeling capabilities, including (a) more informative input-output scenario results; and (2) fiscal impact modeling, which can help predict government revenue changes as a result of economic changes. Although these features will not be included in the autumn release, they are planned for future releases.