Spotlight on Commerce's key economic data
The Commerce Department collects and releases our Nation's most important data, helping governments, businesses, and the American public make better decisions
The Department of Commerce is one of the largest providers of data in the world. The Department's Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) are the authoritative sources for several key economic indicators, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), population data, and trade and investment statistics. These statistics inform government and business decision-makers, researchers, and the American public on our Nation's economic and demographic progress.
Q4 2020 (Second) +4.1%
January 2021 10.0%
December 2020 -66.6B
Q3 2020 -$178.5B
Economic Indicators from the BEA
The BEA ensures the accurate and timely reporting of many principal economic indicators. These indicators are released on the BEA's website and inform millions of Americans and American businesses about the state of the national economy. Click on the links for the most recent authoritative data.
What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
A comprehensive measure of U.S. economic activity. GDP is the value of the goods and services produced in the United States. The growth rate of GDP is the most popular indicator of a nation's overall economic health.
U.S. Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020
The BEA calculates real GDP growth each quarter and subsequently revises these estimates as more complete source data become available. BEA released its "second" estimate of Q4 2020 real GDP illustrated in the chart on the right. This growth rate is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. Click here for the most recent authoritative data.
Current release: February 25, 2021
Next release: March 25, 2021
The Census Bureau gathers and reports authoritative data about our Nation's people and economy
In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau conducts more than 100 surveys of households and businesses across the nation, including the American Community Survey (every year), the Economic Census and the Census of Governments (every five years). Data from these surveys inform personal, business, and government decisions.
Watch this video to learn more about the American Community Survey and why it is important.
Additionally, the Census Bureau collects information from other agencies and combines it with its own data, allowing for stronger and more useful analysis. For example, the Social Security Administration's data are combined with Census data to understand how many people will need Social Security benefits in the coming years and to plan for funding this important program. In addition, data from Medicare, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Census Bureau are combined to find out how many children need healthcare in the U.S., and how much funding will be needed as a result.
The American Community Survey provides insight into how communities change each year
The American Community Survey (ACS) is conducted yearly to provide social, economic, housing, and demographic data for every county in the United States. Data collected from the ACS is used by businesses, governments, public interest groups, and the public. The ACS gathers information related to the cost of living, population, and more. Watch the video to the right to understand how ACS data can help you state and city.