Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eyes on the Economy

The state of the economy is one of the key issues during this election cycle.  Among the leading economic indicators are data produced by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   The Census Bureau reports on international trade, wholesale trade, retail trade, manufacturing, construction, home ownership, new residential sales and more.  Data and a calendar of future Census releases are in the Economic Briefing Room.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gathers and publishes data on the consumer price index, employment cost, producer prices, earnings and employment, productivity, and U.S. import and export prices.   The BLS site is so huge and so complex that it's probably best to start on the News Releases page.

Economic Indicators from the Census Bureau
The Conference Board also produces statistics that are widely-cited including the Leading Economic Indicators Index and the Consumer Confidence Index.  According to the Conference Board, a composite index is powerful because it is "constructed to summarize and reveal common turning point patterns in economic data in a clearer and more convincing manner...."  Based on the latest numbers from 2011 we can be "cautiously" optimistic for the first half of 2012.

The Government Information Library has links for additional resources on its Business and Economics pages.  Check it out.

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