Economic Census Due Feb. 12

February 3, 2003
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — In December, 5 million American businesses received 2002 Economic Census forms, including 20,000 businesses in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland metropolitan statistical area.

Businesses that received the form are required by law to file the completed form by Feb. 12, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau.

This year, for the first time, businesses can file their information electronically.

The Economic Census, which is taken every five years, paints a comprehensive portrait of the American economy both nationally and locally.

It provides official measures of output for industries and geographic areas and serves as a benchmark for measuring 96 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

Economic indicators used every day, such as GDP, monthly retail sales and producer price index, all depend on the Economic Census for accuracy.

Federal, state and local governments use the data to project trends, guide economic development and assess the impact of economic policy, as well as to design programs that promote business development.

Businesses of all sizes use the data in developing business plans as well as marketing and sales strategies, calculating market shares, evaluating new business opportunities, and deciding where to locate a factory, store or office.

Business responses to the census are confidential and protected by federal law.

Data on more than 1,000 industries will be processed during 2003, with results expected in early 2004.

All data will be available free on the Internet.           

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