They say information is power, and if you are running a business, it’s also a lot about profit too. Do you ever wonder about the real GDP, when all the data is broken down by industry? How about trade flows, trade deficits, or levels of international transactions.
Well, often I hear economists spout their opinion, as if they have a handle on all this data, but unless they have the facts, it’s all opinion to me. If you are serious about economics and international trade, and if you really care about the business cycles, then there is one publication I can totally recommend to you;
“Survey of Current Business – BEA’s Monthly Journal,” published by United States Printing Office, Bureau of Economic Analysis for the United States Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration; ISSN: 0039-6222.
This publication is well worth the measly $25.00 it costs. For instance the July 2010 issue was quite telling with a number of great statistics, assessment, and data. There was a 2009 International Investment Report, and the Direct Investment Position as of 2009. Why is all this important?
Simple, when you have this data you can compare it against the stock market, commentary on CNBC financial worldwide news, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and the Economist. Indeed, if we take this information a put it up to scrutiny of the papers and articles coming from the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Business Week, Wharton, or even the China Economic Times, we can see patterns, and questionable commentary.
This financial, economic, currency, and trade information is very important and even critical in our current global economy. Do I ever disagree with the data in Survey of Current Business? Not often, sometimes I disagree with the assessments, but I’d have the same comments were I to read the FED’s Beige Sheet, a GAO report on Trade, or even research from the OMB, which also has something to do with politics of course.
Please consider taking this reference material if you are in a decision making or leadership capacity for an agency, NGO, GSE, or corporation.