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WASHINGTON – Creative industries led by Hollywood account for about $504 billion, or at least 3.2 percent of U.S. goods and services, the government said in its first official measure of how the arts and culture affect the economy.

Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts released the first-ever estimates of the creative sector’s contributions to U.S. gross domestic product based on 2011 data, the most recent figures available. GDP measures the nation’s production of goods and services.

Sunil Iyengar, the endowment’s research director, said the yardstick devised in partnership with the Bureau of Economic Analysis drew on figures from Hollywood, the advertising industry, cable TV production, broadcasting, publishing, performing arts and other areas. Now the nation’s creative sector will be measured annually, much as statisticians calculate the contribution of tourism, health care and other sectors to the nation’s economy.

Analysts said they used preliminary numbers from 2011 and dating back to 1998, including both for-profit and nonprofit industries in the arts and culture sector.

By comparison, the arts and culture sector outpaced the U.S. travel and tourism industry, which was 2.8 percent of GDP in 2011, based on the federal estimate. That finding surprised even the researchers.