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Mark Doms

Commerce Data: Then & Now

ED NOTE: Today is World Statistics Day

Last month, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that our department will be hiring our first ever Chief Data Officer (CDO), building on her commitment to Commerce’s role as “America’s Data Agency.” She also announced the formation of a data advisory council comprising private sector leaders who will help the CDO navigate new and dynamic data challenges. This is the latest chapter in Commerce’s long history of adapting to serve the needs of an ever-changing American economy.

Economic Indicator: Light Vehicle Sales Up at start of 2012

One of the first available indicators about the U.S. economy in 2012 is the measure of retail sales of light vehicles and the news is good: January saw new sales just under 14.2 million (at an annual rate), up from 13.6 in December 2011. This is highest monthly level since May 2008 (even higher than the August 2009 spike, or as I like to call it “Mount Cash-for-Clunkers”).

Economic Briefing: U.S. International Trade in 2011

With today’s release of trade data for December, we now have the complete picture of exports and imports for 2011. Exports continued to show strong growth, climbing 14.5 percent in 2011. Along with the 16.7 percent increase in 2010, this means that exports have increased more than one-third (33.5 percent to be precise) over the last two years, a pace that slightly exceeds that needed to achieve the National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports by 2014.

Economic Indicator: Private Sector Employment up 257,000 in January 2012

Some good news on the employment front! The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their January 2012 report on the employment situation showing private sector employment increased 257,000 -- the largest increase since April 2011 (264,000). In addition, private sector employment gains were revised upward by 58,000 in November and 8,000 in December. Over the past 23 months, the private sector has added jobs every month for a total of nearly 3.7 million jobs.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Department Chief Economist Mark Doms on Personal Income and Outlays in December 2011

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released data on personal income and outlays for December 2011. Personal income rose 0.5 percent in December, significantly higher than the 0.1 percent rise in November and exceeding private-sector forecasts of a 0.4 percent increase. Wages and salaries accounted for nearly half the increase with other components rising as well. Real consumer spending edged down 0.1% in December.

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