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SpatialNews Press Release
Census Bureau Budget Initiatives Will More Accurately Measure U.S. Economy and Population
As part of the President's Fiscal Year 2003 budget submission to
Congress, the Census Bureau today released the details of its innovative
plans to provide more timely and accurate data about the economy and
population of the United States.
"This budget request represents some of the most ambitious and innovative
statistical activities that I've seen in more than 30 years of government
service. If approved, it will improve the way we measure the U.S. population,
economy and state and local governments," said Census Bureau Acting
Director William G. Barron Jr.
Key initiatives in the Census Bureau's $737.6 million appropriations
request for FY 2003 include conducting the 2002 Economic Census, improving
measures of the economy's service sector, increasing the quality and
timeliness of foreign trade statistics, enhancing the measurement of
electronic business and re-engineering the 2010 census to make it more
efficient and cost-effective.
"The President and Secretary Evans realize the importance of these
indicators to our economy," said Commerce Under Secretary Kathleen B.
Cooper. "The data collected and the numbers produced by the Census Bureau
are important to our economic security. Accurate and timely data can help
business leaders, policy-makers, indeed all Americans chart our economic
- Conduct the 2002 Economic Census ($91.7 million)--Taken every
five years, the economic census is the statistical benchmark for
measuring the U.S. economy. It provides three-quarters of the source
data for the National Accounts, and covers 96 percent of Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), in addition to establishing the base for
constructing many of the principal economic indicators.
- Improve services measures to address long-standing deficiencies
in federal economic statistics ($5.5 million)
1) Establishes a new principal economic indicator of service
industry activity, providing policy-makers with current information
on the performance of key information, communication and
technology-intensive industries, as well as other industries
undergoing significant change;
2) Yield annual product data on the outputs of service industries,
providing the Bureau of Economic Affairs (BEA) and the business
community with much needed information on the specific products sold
by fast-growing and rapidly changing service industries; and
3) Produces annual information on the cost of purchased services and
materials for service industries. This information provides BEA and
the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) with source data needed to dramatically
improve existing measures of value added by services industries.
- Improve the timeliness and quality of foreign trade statistics
1) Accelerate the release of trade statistics by 20 days currently
released within about 50 days of the data month through increased
use of electronic reporting and processing of trade data;
2) Expand and improve the export reporting system (Automated Export
System) through technological advances; and
3) Remedy the undercoverage of exports, currently ranging from
3 percent to 7 of the published export level, by keeping pace with
the changes in the way that trade now takes place.
- Improve measurement of electronic business ($5.2 million)
1) Provide annual coverage of the entire wholesale trade sector,
including manufacturers' sales offices and electronic markets.
Comprehensive and timely information on all wholesale activity will
provide BEA with important new source data to improve quarterly
estimates of GDP;
2) Supply BEA, FRB, other policy-makers, as well as the business
community with detailed annual information on business expenditures
on hardware, software and communication services that will help
assess future productivity and economic growth prospects; and,
3) Implement a first-ever supply chain survey that will document how
e-business processes are shifting functions and economic activity
among manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and transportation
services and logistics providers.
- Re-engineer the 2010 decennial census ($218.9 million)
Three highly interdependent components will make the next census
more efficient and accurate, which will save the resources necessary
throughout the decade to fund the re-engineering plan. They are:
1) Eliminate the 2010 census long form through the nationwide
implementation of the American Community Survey, which will provide
annual long form-type data for all communities;
2) Modernize the Census Bureau's master address list and geographic
databases, the cornerstones for a good census, through improvements
in mapping technologies; and,
3) Begin early planning, development and testing of a completely
restructured approach to data collection for a short form-only census.
"Implementation of these core programs and others detailed in the Census
Bureau's budget submission will yield significantly better and more
current data, which policy-makers at all levels of government, business
and the American public can use to improve their way of life well into the
21st century," Barron said.
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