Magazine article The CPA Journal

Anticipating the 2002 Economic Census

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Anticipating the 2002 Economic Census

Article excerpt

The Economic Census profiles the U.S. economy every five years, from the national to the local level. The census provides official measures of output for industries and geographic areas, and economic policymakers in federal, state, and local governments use the data to project trends, plan for development, and assess the impact of trade and corporate restructuring on particular industries. Economic Census data also help build the foundation for economic indicators and other statistics.

The Economic Census provides detailed information about the nation's economic activity for all geographic areas. Census data about industries, their inputs and outputs, and how they relate to each other, are available nowhere else. The Economic Census also provides key elements to help update economic indicators like the gross domestic product and producer price index.

Companies can use Economic Census data to study their industries, look for business markets, and evaluate investment opportunities. Economic Census data help businesses compare industries and locations, and provide the official information that many investors expect in a business plan.

The Census Bureau sends Economic Census forms to all but the smallest businesses in every industry across the United States. Most businesses with five or more paid employees, and a sampling of smaller ones, receive a census form. 2002 Economic Census forms will be sent to 5 million businesses in December, asking for information about business activity during calendar year 2002. Forms will be due back February 12, 2003, and results will be published during 2004 and 2005.

There will be more than 600 different versions of the census form, each tailored to a specific industry or group of industries.The current forms and sample forms used in the 1997 economic census will be available online, but the Bureau notes that industry groupings, product categories, and some questions have changed. …

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