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Economic indicators will continue!

Last week, we posted about the imminent demise of economicindicators.gov. Evidently, this news travelled quickly and DoC has decided to continue the site!! Below is the notice from the site:


The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) has decided to continue the economicindicators.gov website. Featuring the economic releases from ESA’s Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the site was started by this Administration in 2002 to give greater awareness to these economic statistics. ESA initially planned to discontinue the service due to cost concerns but given the feedback ESA received, the decision has been made to continue the site and improve its functionality.

A popular feature of the site is the calendar that links directly to economic indicators on the Census and BEA websites. By continuing the Economic Indicators (EI) site, the fifteen major indicators released by those bureaus will still be listed, along with links to the full text of each release. EI’s information will continue to be provided free of charge.

Many users also subscribe to the site and have economic indicators and the full releases emailed to them. There are a number of technical challenges with this aspect of the EI site – the service often backs up and fails because of bandwidth issues, releases sometimes take hours to reach subscribers, and some subscribers receive multiple copies of the releases while others get none at all. The cost of maintaining the site is almost entirely attributable to operating this feature.

To address these concerns we will redesign the subscription feature of economicindicators.gov. The new system, which will remain free of charge, will email an abstract and link so that users can access the full release on the source website. We believe the cost of rewriting the system will, in the long-run, be less than continuing to run the existing system. The new subscription service will be operational in the next few months.

Existing subscribers of the economicindicators.gov service were offered a free trial subscription to the STAT-USA/Internet service (http://www.stat-usa.gov). A number of you have already signed up for that and we hope you will make full use of it.

Thank you for your responses to last week’s notice. We look forward to continuing to provide economic indicators, in the most efficient way possible.

Administration shuts down “best-of-web” economicindicators.gov

Forbes has awarded EconomicIndicators.gov one of its “Best of the Web” awards. As Forbes explains, the government site provides an invaluable service to the public for accessing U.S. economic data:

This site is maintained by the Economics and Statistics Administration and combines data collected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, like GDP and net imports and exports, and the Census Bureau, like retail sales and durable goods shipments. The site simply links to the relevant department’s Web site. This might not seem like a big deal, but doing it yourself — say, trying to find retail sales data on the Census Bureau’s site — is such an exercise in futility that it will convince you why this portal is necessary.

Yet the Bush administration has decided to shut down this site because of “budgetary constraints,” effective March 1.

(From economicindicators.gov) Due to budgetary constraints, the Economic Indicators service will be discontinued effective March 1, 2008.

Economic Indicators.gov is brought to you by the Economics and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Our mission is to provide timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here’s a cross-section of the data available:

Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services | Advance Report on Durable Goods | Construction Put in Place | Corporate Profits | Current Account Balance (International Transactions) | Gross Domestic Product | Housing Vacancies and Homeownership | Manufacturer’s Shipments, Inventories, and Orders | Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Orders | Manufacturing and Trade: Inventories and Sales | Monthly Wholesale Trade | New Residential Construction | New Residential Sales | Personal Income and Outlays | Quarterly Financial Report | Quarterly Services | Retail E-Commerce Sales | U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services | U.S. International Transactions |

*sigh*

[Thanks ThinkProgress.org]

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