A Super-Trendy Economic Report That People Never Used To Talk About Is Coming Out This Morning
A government report that is becoming more and more consequential as a reliable indicator of the health of the U.S. economy will be released at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
The Census Bureau's Quarterly Services Survey (QSS) is starting to get notice as a must-follow in the world of economic data. It provides hard data on service spending, giving estimates of revenues at service-providing companies.
In the first quarter of 2014, the report provided a key revision that dramatically shifted estimates of healthcare spending and GDP, while defying predictions the Affordable Care Act would lead to a massive increase in healthcare spending.
The QSS data provided a better estimate of healthcare spending than the Bureau of Economic Analysis' advance estimate of first-quarter GDP, which had forecast a 9.9% explosion in healthcare spending. But healthcare spending ended up plunging — something the QSS caught and the BEA missed.
The BEA told Business Insider the eventual revision in the bureau's final estimate of first-quarter GDP was based on the new data from the QSS.
Look for the survey to provide a few important data points on health spending and revenue: Healthcare and social assistance spending, revenue for hospitals, revenue for medical labs, and revenue for outpatient care.
It is likely that second-quarter GDP and healthcare spending won't undergo big revisions like last time — the first advance estimate forecast just a 0.5% increase in health spending this quarter. Or the estimate could actually increase — last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it expected about a 5.6% increase in healthcare spending this year.
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