Several federal statistical agencies produce monthly and quarterly snapshots of key sectors within the U.S. economy known as “economic indicators.” Among them is my agency, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Economic indicators are used by the government and the public for economic forecasts, market research, and financial and personal decision-making. For example, through tracking monthly and quarterly trends in inflation or bellwether industries such as housing construction, trade and manufacturing, these indicators can give timely and crucial insight into the current health of the U.S. economy.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s “America’s Economy” mobile app makes it easy for the public to keep up with the latest economic indicator data, such as the monthly unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And just this week, three more of the most widely referenced Bureau of Labor Statistics indicators were added to an updated version of the app: nonfarm payroll employment, the producer price index and the consumer price index.
“America’s Economy” includes 15 other key economic indicators from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis, such as gross domestic product and the homeownership rate. Besides viewing the latest data, users can examine trends over the past few years and check the schedule of upcoming releases. Users also can set alerts for when indicators change, add release schedules to their personal calendars, and share new indicator releases with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter.
The statistics available in “America’s Economy” drive business hiring, sales and production decisions, and assist economists, researchers, journalists, policymakers and the general public. Available for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets, America’s Economy can be useful to anyone who wants to keep up with the health of the U.S. economy.
If you have not already, now is the perfect time to discover this free app and learn more about U.S. economic data. Visit http://www.census.gov/mobile to download it today.
Erica Groshen is the commissioner of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.