RIMS II Update Coming from Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

07.15.14 | Archived

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) plans to release in 2015 a modified economic model to replace the original Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II).  Cost savings will be realized because the modified model will be updated less frequently.

Much like RIMS II, the modified model will produce regional “multipliers” that can be used in economic impact studies to estimate the total economic impact of a project on a region.

However, the modified model will be updated with new input-output (I-O) data only for benchmark years.  That is – years ending in two and seven.  The modified model will become available to customers in 2015 and incorporate 2007 benchmark I-O data and 2012 regional economic data.

Last year, as a result of budget sequestration and reduced funding levels, BEA discontinued updates to RIMS II.  Orders for RIMS II multipliers, however, have continued to be accepted because the cost of fulfilling these orders is covered by a nominal processing fee.

After investigating ways to continue to meet the analytical needs of our customers but do so at a lower cost to BEA, the bureau decided to make a modified economic model available. Until the modified model is available in 2015, customers may continue to buy RIMS II multipliers.

What are RIMS II multipliers? 

The Regional Input-Output Model (RIMS II), which is maintained by the BEA, is commonly used to estimate how an initial change in economic activity, such as an increase in exports of a local business, will affect the spending and hiring decisions of other local businesses. RIMS II input-output multipliers show how local demand shocks affect total gross output, value added, earnings, and employment in the region.

In September 2013, BEA economists Zoë Ambargis and Ian Mead led a webinar focused on how to employ best practices when using the model’s output and how to archive the model’s results. To download the recording of the webinar, click here. To view the webinar presentation, see here and here.


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