You’ll be seeing a lot more data like this over the next several months. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis wants to put a dollar amount on the contributions different industries make as it prepares to introduce a financial metric — Gross Output — designed to provide a more comprehensive picture of the economy than the familiar Gross Domestic Product. And it says its “prototype” model shows that the broad array of arts and cultural goods and services accounted for $915.9B in Gross Output in 2011 vs a $504B contribution to GDP (equal to 3.2% of the total). When you zero in, “motion picture and video goods and services” added $83.2B to Gross Output, behind “cable production and distribution” (at $100.2B) and ahead of “radio and television broadcasting” ($39.7B). When it comes to employment, arts and culture in 2011 accounted for 2M workers who were paid $289.5B. Motion pictures and video had 310,000 workers paid $25B. The MPAA, which is eager to show lawmakers that studios are economic powers, applauded the effort to quantify its members’ contribution. It’s the “latest acknowledgment from the government of the major impact our industry and other arts and cultural industries have on the U.S. economy,” MPAA chief Chris Dodd says. In July BEA began to include R&D investments for creative work in GDP. It said that Q2 investments in films, television shows, literature and music amounted to $75.3B.
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