The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee included funding for the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) in its Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice, and Science bill. Lawmakers set funding for ORSA at $1.5 million, meeting the funding levels necessary to survey the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry in the coming fiscal year. The BEA, which is the government body responsible for calculating U.S. GDP, launched ORSA in 2017 to complement its overall statistical analysis by providing detailed insights into the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry. The industry had previously not been included in U.S. GDP calculations despite years of calls to do so by industry leaders.
In February, ORSA released its initial statistical findings on the outdoor recreation industry, showing the sector makes up 2 percent of U.S. GDP and accounts for $673 billion in annual gross domestic output. This impact exceeds that of key U.S. industries such as farming and computer manufacturing. In addition, ORSA found the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.8 percent in 2016, outpacing the 2.8 percent growth of the overall U.S. economy during the same period. For more information, visit www.nmma.org.