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Economic Indicator: Diminishing Housing Inventory a Sign of Recovering Market

Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released data on new housing starts and building permits. Inventory is an important component of the construction data and recently, as the market has been recovering and completed homes have been selling relatively fast, the aggregate new housing inventory has been declining to some of the lowest levels on record.

ACE Tool Helps U.S. Businesses Fully Assess the Advantages of Manufacturing and Sourcing In America

I have the pleasure of meeting frequently with business owners from across the country. They talk about where their challenges are in growing and sustaining their businesses, and they also talk about how locating production abroad hasn’t always turned out as well as they had hoped. Not surprisingly, during our current economic recovery and expansion, news reports and private consultants have repeatedly echoed that thinking. Increasingly we hear that U.S.

Let Freedom Ring

On Friday, June 28th, I was given the honor of speaking to about 500 people from 80 countries who took the oath to become U.S. citizens at a ceremony in Sterling, Virginia. The happiness, joy, pride, and gratitude in the room brought tears to my eyes, especially after imagining the collective hardships endured, the journeys taken, and the fears overcome by our new citizens.

Assess Costs Everywhere: Regulatory Compliance Costs

The Department of Commerce recently introduced the Assess Costs Everywhere tool, which outlines the costs and risks U.S. firms need to weigh when considering location of manufacturing operations and supply chains. For example, these firms should consider, along with a whole range of costs, the extra resources they need to devote to comply with U.S. regulations on the importation of goods and foreign regulations on all aspects of business when operating abroad.

Economic Indicators: 2011 Q2 GDP and Annual Revisions

This morning the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its advance estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2011. The economy grew at a 1.3-percent pace in the second quarter following 0.4-percent growth in the first quarter. On the one hand, GDP has grown for eight consecutive quarters. On the other, our economy has been hit with some pretty heavy headwinds, like sharp jumps in energy prices, stress in European financial markets, and supply chain disruptions from the tragedy in Japan.

Economic Indicator Preview: The Durable Recovery in Durable Goods

On Wednesday, July 27th, the U.S. Census Bureau will issue the advance report on durable goods for June. This release is important because it impacts Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in two significant ways: exports of goods and business investment in equipment and software. (The first look at GDP for the second quarter will be released on July 29th by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.)

STEM Workers: Please Live Long and Prosper

Today we (the Economics and Statistics Administration here at the Commerce Department) released a report highlighting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers who drive our nation's innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries. (It's only a coincidence that we are releasing this report a week before the Comic Con convention).

Economic Indicator: Foreign Trade - Exports Continue Strong Growth, Imports Surge on Oil

Although at first glance the top-line numbers from today's data release on international trade don't look all that encouraging, the overall picture (think of a painting) for international trade remains essentially unchanged. The main elements in that overall picture include a large bright spot for exports (representing good) and a large, black, growing pool of oil (representing evil) on the import side.

Economic Indicator Preview: Notes on Tuesday's Foreign Trade Release for May

Any number of special or idiosyncratic factors can confound the understanding of month-to-month changes in our international trade data. Recently, the monthly trade numbers have been buffeted by the tsunami-related events in Japan, changes in oil prices, and the quantity of oil we import. Today, in preparation for tomorrow's data release for May, we'll offer some additional information that may help in better understanding how these events and trends might be affecting our trade numbers.

Economic Indicator Preview: Notes on Tuesday’s Foreign Trade Release for May

Any number of special or idiosyncratic factors can confound the understanding of month-to-month changes in our international trade data. Recently, the monthly trade numbers have been buffeted by the tsunami-related events in Japan, changes in oil prices, and the quantity of oil we import. Today, in preparation for tomorrow's data release for May, we'll offer some additional information that may help in better understanding how these events and trends might be affecting our trade numbers.

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