Problem in BEA data : order of magnitude

Hi, we realized a problem with the nominal GDP data for the US.
We download the data in R via the following code:

data_gdp_us <- rdb('BEA', 'NIPA-T10105', mask = 'A191RC-Q')

Then we ask the value for 2018-Q4:

data_gdp_us$value[which(data_gdp_us$period == "2018-10-01")]

The answer is 20897804 which is roughly 21 x 10^6.
The column “dataset_name” tells us that the data are in billions USD (=10^9 in short scale which is the one used in the US):

data_gdp_us$dataset_name[which(data_gdp_us$period == "2018-10-01")]

Thus, we have 21 x 10^15 USD.
According to the BEA press release the 2018-Q4 nominal GDP in the US was 20.87 trillion, thus roughly 21 x 10^12 USD.
When consulting the NIPA table Table 1.1.5 directly at the BEA (it is in billions USD), the number 20 897.8 is shown for 2018-Q4, thus once again 21 x 10^12 USD.
Please let me know when this issue is solved so that we can change or codes accordingly.
Thanks a lot,

Thank you Julia for reporting the problem. There is an inconsistency in the data provided but the BEA API.

I have open issue to find a solution to this problem. We will let you know when it is implemented.

Thanks for helping us improve DBnomics


Hi Julia, I’m Bruno from the DBnomics team. We fixed this problem with BEA;

  • we added two dimensions: Metric and Unit that are computed from series-level information from BEA API, so this new information should be correct
  • we removed the unit given by BEA in dataset name as this is false in many cases (like the one you pointed out)

In the example you gave here, the NIPA-T10105/A191RC series have a dimension Metric with value Millions of current Dollars, which is correct.

Do not hesitate to let us informed if you find another problem !