General Question

Trillian's avatar

Where is a good place to look for economic information?

Asked by Trillian (21116points) April 18th, 2012

If I wanted to gather some information about how much Americans are currently spending on various categories of goods this month, last month, a year ago, etc.
How about if I wanted to know about how much specific companies are earning?
I understand that some figures are made public, but I never have understood how to go about getting them.
Any general directions or specific websites or,... you see? I just don’t really know how to get at the information that I want. Maybe it isn’t all compiled neatly, or maybe it is. I still don’t know how to get my hands on it.
Any information at all would be helpful and I would be grateful,

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9 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Check out the Consumer Price Index monthly release. The CPI is put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows how much prices have changed each month by category of spending.

The Current Expenditure data show you what we spend.

You can get corporate earnings data from thousands of sources. Every broker or bank probably provides it. So do Yahoo and every business or stock website. You might try ““, although they look a little abstruse to me. The page I linked to is showing some earning projections for the quarter for selected firms, but I don’t know how they selected the firms.

bkcunningham's avatar

One place to look is the US Dept. of Labor.

jrpowell's avatar is a aggregator for data released by the government.

If you want data on companies EDGAR is a good place to start. The most interesting data will probably be the 10-Q filings. Here is the last 10-Q filed by Apple.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you’re looking for aggregate data, you can get covered up in data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

EDIT: I see that @bkcunningham already beat me to it.

Jaxk's avatar

The Dept. of Commerce will have some good statistics

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

laureth's avatar

The Motley Fool is good, not just for investing and stock market information, but they also have other random nuggets of goodness.

Forbes is a business site that tends to lean Right, and Business Insider is a business site that tends to lean Left. Both are pretty good.

Modeled Behavior is the blog of an economist who says interesting things. Brad DeLong’s blog is also often thought-provoking.

For basic Treasury data, you can’t beat Treasury Direct. They can even tell you the Historical Debt Outstanding, and the auction results for T-bills, which tells you just how much we’re paying in interest on new debt.

The National Bureau of Economic Research is the definitive source for the beginning and end dates of recessions and depressions.

Google Finance can tell you how particular companies are doing.

And, for good measure, here’s the latest private audit of the Federal Reserve, right on the Fed’s website. :)

Trillian's avatar

You people rock. Thank you!

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