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Economic Briefing Blog

ACE: Political & Security Risks

In April, the Commerce Department developed the Assess Costs Everywhere (ACE) tool, which outlines the costs and risks firms need to weigh when considering the location of manufacturing operations and supply chains. Many of these are hidden or hard to quantify. This post, the eleventh in our series of blogs on ACE, explores one such area: political and security risks.

Assess Costs Everywhere: Regulatory Compliance Costs

The Department of Commerce recently introduced the Assess Costs Everywhere tool, which outlines the costs and risks U.S. firms need to weigh when considering location of manufacturing operations and supply chains. For example, these firms should consider, along with a whole range of costs, the extra resources they need to devote to comply with U.S. regulations on the importation of goods and foreign regulations on all aspects of business when operating abroad.

Comprehensive Revisions to NIPA: Reconsidering Treatment of R&D and Entertainment

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will release its comprehensive revision of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs) next week. Among other important changes to estimates will be how the statistical agency treats Research and Development (R&D) and calculates entertainment in measuring gross domestic product (GDP). The revision generally occurs every five years.

Interpreting Recent Trends in the U.S. Auto Industry

Assess Costs Everywhere: Intellectual Property Rights

The Department of Commerce’s Assess Costs Everywhere (ACE) tool helps firms estimate the costs and risks associated with locating operations or supply chains overseas. Today, we are focusing on intellectual property (IP) in our eleven-part series highlighting the relatively low costs and risks of keeping business right here in America. Be sure to check out earlier Economics and Statistics Administration blog posts here.

Assess Costs Everywhere: Texas Tea, Pennsylvania Pinot, and Other Inputs

As I flipped through the TV channels during my youth, a catchy tune often beckoned me “to listen to a story ‘bout a man named Jed.” Jed and his fictional Clampett family got rich and moved to Beverly Hills, CA after selling the rights to drill for the Texas tea (crude oil) on their land. Yesterday’s yarns about petroleum parallel today’s narratives about natural gas. Natural gas has created billionaires in the Bayou and natural gas millionaires in Pennsylvania and other states with shale gas deposits.

Hurricane Sandy: Economic Conditions in New Jersey and New York Counties Before and After the Storm

Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey on October 30, 2012. Several months after the storm, stakeholders are still assessing the damage and the long-term economic effects on the region. To help with this effort, the Economic and Statistics Administration developed a report, County Summary Report of Areas in New Jersey and New York Affected by Hurricane Sandy, which provides baseline information on demographic and economic conditions in these areas.

Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S.: Part I - Employment

Many foreigners find that it is a good investment to set up shop in the United States. They make investments by acquiring company equities, reinvesting earnings, and issuing intercompany debts. The spending is referred to as foreign direct investment (FDI), and it creates millions of American jobs and boosts U.S. economic growth. Our colleagues at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) collect and publish quarterly estimates of both foreign multinationals’ inward investment and U.S. multinationals’ outward investment.

A Rebound in Housing: What the Permits Data are Showing

Each month, the U.S. Census Bureau surveys a sample of local building permit offices and releases data on the total number of permits issued for new private residential construction. (The next monthly construction release is scheduled for tomorrow, June 18th at 8:30 a.m.) Once per year, however, the bureau surveys all 20,000 permit offices in the country to get a complete accounting of permits issued during the calendar year. These data underlie the annual benchmark revision of the building permit data, the latest of which was released on May 1 for calendar year 2012.

Retail Sales and Dating: Consider the Ex

As analysts dig into the upbeat retail sales data released June 13th, which saw sales climb a solid 0.6 percent in May, they often focus on the “exes”: retail sales excluding motor vehicles, excluding gasoline, etc. These data show retail sales without certain industry segments whose volatility might mask underlying sales trends. Let’s focus briefly on one ex in particular, retail trade excluding motor vehicles, and compare it to our faithful partner, the headline retail sales and food services series.

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