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LIBRARY GUIDE TO Business and Economic Statistics Pathfinder


Statistics are fundamental information resources in the world of business. This is a guide to some of the more important sources for statistical data here in the Library.


Print Sources


Statistics Sources. (Ref. HA 36 .A1 S84 2009)
Alphabetically arranged by subject. Each subject cites where statistics can be found. Cites both publications and organizations, government agencies, trade and professional groups.


Statistical Abstract of the United States. (Ref. HA 202 .S7, 2002--; current ed. kept at Ref. Desk). Searchable online: Statistical Abstract of the United States. See also FedStats. Statistical Abstracts is an annual one-volume basic statistical source book, especially useful for someone not familiar with a specialized source. Gives summary industrial and economic statistics indexed by subject at the back of the book. At the foot of each table is a source note, so it also serves as a guide to further information.

Business Statistics. (Gov. Doc. C 59.11/3:date; 1953-1992; some available online)
Provides a description of some 2,600 statistical series reported in the monthly Survey of Current Business and acts as a historical record, giving monthly and annual data for the prior 4 years. Issued by U.S. Dept. of Commerce (biennial). Volume 2 covers the automotive; chemical; iron and steel; and petroleum and gas industries. Section 4 includes statistical works. Superseded by Business Statistics of the United States, a non-governmental publication (Ref. HC 101 .A13122; 1996, 1999)

Economic Report of the President. (HC 106.5 .A272; 1950--current) Also available online, 1949-current.
Transmitted to the Congress in February (each year), together with the Annual Report of the Council of Economic Advisors. The main part of the latter offers a review of the nation's economic condition, documented by statistics.

Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970. (Govt. Docs. C3. 134/2: 62/789-970 and online) Supplement to the Statistical Abstract. Provides historical overview of U.S. statistics in a variety of areas, social, economic, political and industrial.

U.S. Industrial Outlook. (1989-1994 in Ref. Collection, Ref. HC 101 .U54; earlier editions in Gov. Docs. C 62.17: and C 61.34:) Annual. A convenient source of information on industrial trends and the short-term (about 5 years) outlook. Some text, with statistics for supply and demand, employment, investment, domestic, and foreign markets, and price changes for about 200 industrial groups. Note: For 1998-2000, the title changed to U. S. Industry and Trade Outlook (Ref. HC 101.U55). Publication ceased in 2000 with U.S. Global Trade Outlook, 1995/2000, (Doc. C61.34/2:).

CRB Commodity Year Book. (Ref. HF 1041 .C56, 1961-2009; 2004 through 2009 have companion CD available at Circulation Desk) Information including statistical data for about one hundred basic raw commodities and semi-finished products - production, prices, stocks, imports and exports. Annual.

North American Industry Classification System. Also available in print version.  (Ref. HF 1042 .N6 1997) Replaces the old SIC manual.


The Bureau of the Census is the country's largest publisher of statistical data.  Its Catalog lists all Census publications and access to the more current data is available from their home page.  Here you’ll find links to the Economic Census (taken every 5 years), Population Census (every 10 years) and various surveys that are published annually to update these.  The library’s print census materials (older editions) are available in Government Documents.  Some of the more important of these series are the Census of Population and Housing, Census of Service Industries, Census of Retail Trade, County Business Patterns, and Census of Wholesale Trade, and Census of Manufactures.  See the Library Catalog for call numbers for these older materials.

Some other specific Census Department publications that may be of interest are Annual Survey of Manufactures  and Current Industrial Reports.


Business Conditions Digest. (Fourth Floor;  Per. HC 101 .A12; 1969-90)
Issued by U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Emphasis on the cyclical indicators approach to the analysis of business conditions and prospects. Available online for years 1968-90.

Economic Indicators. (Govt. Docs. Y 4.Ec7:Ec7 date; Also available online:  Economic Indicators )
Issued by the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors. Statistical tables and graphs of basic U.S. economic indicators including prices, income, employment, and wages.

Federal Reserve Bulletin. (Fourth Floor; Per. HG 2401 .A5, 1922-99; 1915-2009 online from FRASER; current in ABI-INFORM database)
Issued by the U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. A source for current U.S. banking and monetary statistics, including international trade, foreign liabilities, and foreign exchange rates.

Monthly Labor Review. (Fourth Floor; Per. HD 8051 .A78, 1918-2007; available online via ABI-INFORM database)
Good source for current labor statistics including labor-management data, employment and unemployment, productivity, and consumer and producer prices.

Survey of Current Business. (Fourth Floor; Per. HC 101 .A13, 1938--; also 1921-current from BEA)
Descriptive and statistical material on basic U.S. income and trade developments. Updates the biennial Business Statistics. Covers 2,500 statistical series. Indexed in Academic OneFile and ABI-INFORM from 1983, with full text available. Also, full-text for 1921-2002 available at from FRASER (Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research).


American Incomes (2011 online, available through Library Catalog; also, Ref. HC 110 .I5 .R87 2009); The Official Guide to the Generations (Ref. HC 110 .C6 M545 1995); The Official Guide to the American Marketplace (Ref. HA 214 .A6 1995); The Baby Boom: Americans Born 1946-1964 (2009 online through Library Catalog) and Generation X  (2009 online through Library Catalog).

American Marketplace (2011 online through Library Catalog)

American Cost of Living Survey. (Ref. HD 6983 .A67 1994)
This book will tell you how much a six pack of Bud costs in a certain area. The companion volume is World Cost of Living Survey (Ref. HD 6978 .W65 1997).

The Value of a Dollar: Colonial Era to the Civil War. (Ref. HB 235 .U6 D47 2005 )

The Value of a Dollar: Prices and Incomes in the United States 1860-2004 (Ref. HB 235 .U6 V35 2004 )

Consumer Expenditures Survey. Data from 1984-current.


This section concentrates on key international publications that cover economic statistics.  See also the OECD Economic Surveys (online via ABI-INFORM for 2006 through 6 months ago; for older editions, check the Library Catalog).

Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook. (Ref. HF 1014 .I51)
Arranged in two parts: Part 1 contains figures; Part 2 contains world totals for balance of payments components and aggregates.

Demographic Yearbook. (Ref. HA 17 .D45; also online for 2000-current)
United Nations publication giving detailed information on population, births, deaths, marriage, divorce rates for approx. 250 countries.

Economic Survey of Europe. (Ref. HC 240 .A1 U477; 1959-2005)
Includes narrative and tables on agriculture, industry, investment, consumer income and supplies and international trade.

Economic Survey of Latin America. (Ref. HC 161 .U525; 1956-1978)
Includes narrative and tables on each country plus surveys of several aspects of the Latin American Economy.

Europa World Year Book. (Ref. JN 1 .E85)
A two-volume international reference book (not limited to Europe), that includes a statistical survey of each country's employment, agriculture, forestry, finance, trade, transport and industry (annual).

Government Finance Statistics Yearbook. (Ref. HJ 101 .G68, 1979-2006)
Provides data on revenue, grants, expenditure, banking, financing and debt of central governments.

Interest Rates 1960-1974. (Ref. HB 549 .O6 O64 1976)
Includes the interest rates recorded every month for OECD member countries.

International Financial Statistics. (Ref. HC 3881 .I626; 1964-2003, 2005-2007)
For each IMF member, gives statistical data on world trade, money and banking, government finance and other items. Tables with area and world aggregates are included. Monthly. See also International Financial Statistics Yearbook (Ref. HG 3881 .I627, 1979-2006) .

International Historical Statistics: Europe 1759-1988. (Ref. HA 1107 .M5 1992)
A wide range of statistical data derived from various sources. Especially useful because it takes variously defined annual figures and puts them into comparable time series.

International Historical Statistics:  The Americas, 1750-1988.  (Ref. HA 175 .M552 1993)

International Historical Statistics:  Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-2000.  (Ref. HA 4675 .M552 2003)

Main Economic Indicators. (Ref. HC 10 .068, 1967-2010)
A guide to recent economic activity in the OECD countries, shown through tables of indicators that include national accounts, prices, production and foreign trade. (monthly) See also Main Economic Indicators: Historical Statistics, (Ref. HC 10 .0672).

OECD Economic Outlook. (Ref. HC 10 .063, 1969-2000; 1980--6 months ago, also available online through ABI-INFORM)
Provides a "periodic assessment of economic trends and prospects in OECD countries." Appears twice a year. Includes "Domestic and International Developments," "Developments in included countries" and "Technical Annual."

Statistical Abstract of Latin America. (Ref. HA 935 .S8; 1961-2002)
Summarizes the available statistics concerning the socio-economic and political condition of the 20 Latin American countries. Time series are given. The book also acts as a guide to additional data. (annual).

Statistical Yearbook. (Ref. HA 12.5 .U63)
Issued annually by the United Nations. A standard reference book for statistics on UN member nations. Includes statistics on agriculture, finance, trade, manufacturing and mining, along with non-economic data. Current figures are given in the U.N.'s Monthly Bulletin of Statistics (Ref. HC 57 .U66).

World Business Cycles. (Ref. HC 59 .W632 1982)
Provides a "broad look at world business cycles, and includes detailed information for 84 countries on gross domestic product and other series of interest, where available, during the period 1950-1980; also for 34 commodities. . . . Also included is a long-term view of gross domestic product. . . for the U.K. and U.S. during the period from the 1850s to 1980."

World Economic & Social Survey. (Ref. HC 59 .A169, 1959--; also online)
Annual. Provides a review of world economic conditions and trends.

World Tables. (Ref. HC 59 .W67; 1984, 1992)
"Presents time series for a number of basic economic variables for each country, and for countries and country groups it presents derived economic indicators. . . and demographic and social data. . . ."

Year-Book of Labour Statistics. (Ref. HD 4826 .I63; 1961-1998)
Summarizes labor statistics for 180 countries.

Yearbook of National Accounts Statistics. (Ref. HC 79 .I5 U53 through U56)
Offers comprehensive statistical information about the economic activity of 134 countries and territories.


Direction of Trade Statistics.  (Ref. HF 91 .D57)
Provides data on countries' exports and imports. Published monthly. See also Direction of Trade Annual (Ref. HF 91 .D572).

Monthly Statistics of International Trade. (Ref. HF 91 .065; available online from FirstSearch ECO from 1998 through present)

International Trade Statistics Yearbook. (Ref. HF 91 .U473)
Volume 1 lists, by member country, commodity import and export figures. Volume 2 lists trading activity by commodity. United Nations (annual).

Foreign Trade

Export.gov : "Helping U.S. Companies Export"

Dan Ring
Dan Ring The content of this guide was originally curated by Dan Ring.


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