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Reference Book of the Week: Economic Report of the President

Here we go with another edition of Reference Book of the Week here at The Patriot Spot. Today we feature a federal government document: the Economic Report of the President. Even though the title says "of the President," don't be fooled. The report is actually written by the President's economic advisers. To be precise, the report, which is submitted annually to Congress, is written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. According to law, it "is transmitted to Congress no later than ten days after the submission of the Budget of the United States Government" (from the GPO Access website).

So, what does this document do? According to the Government Printing Office (GPO), it includes:

  • " Current and foreseeable trends and annual numerical goals concerning topics such as employment, production, real income and Federal budget outlays." In other words, you get what the Council sees as current economic trends in topics like productivity, employment, and other topics. For example, the 2007 report looks at things like the transportation sector in terms of issues like fuel markets and infrastructure.
  • "Employment objectives for significant groups of the labor force." This is where some of that stuff on productivity mentioned above comes in.
  • "Annual numeric goals."
  • "A program for carrying out program objectives."

The report usually includes as well a year in review (for the year prior to the report) so you get an overview of the economic picture in the nation; they also look at international issues and trends as they may affect the United States. Another value of a document like this is in the tables. There are a lot of tables with statistics and figures to support the material. There are also boxes, which are basically text boxes with additional or supplementary information. This is yet another way to look at the federal government, the economic policies, and what they do with your tax dollars. The report also gives a look at the economy from the view of the executive branch. Thus, here why this document is important: it "is an important vehicle for presenting the Administration's domestic and international economic policies" (219).

The library currently has the 2007 edition. It is placed in the Ready Reference shelf (behind the reference desk) under the call number HC 106.5 .A272 2007. The print edition for the 2008 is currently on order.

Note: This document is available online via the GPO Access website here. Under the link you can find the PDF to the 2008 edition, which is the most current. You can look at the complete document, or at individual tables. If you prefer to download the information, there are options for that as well. You can go as far back as 1995. There are some historical editions of older reports (1960-1980) provided via a collaboration between the GPO and FRASER (Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research).

Published by root on 29 May