Government to measure impact of arts on economy

BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Federal agencies are planning the first official measure of the arts and culture sector's impact on the nation's economic growth.

The National Endowment for the Arts announced a partnership Friday with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to identify and calculate the contributions of the creative sector to U.S. gross domestic product. GDP measures the nation's output of goods and services.

The new measure of commercial and nonprofit arts production begins this year and likely will include Hollywood business. It will look at national data on people employed by museums, theaters and architectural firms, for example. It will also look at economics in the music industry and book publishing.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis also analyzes the economic impact of travel and tourism, research and development and health care.