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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics, 2nd Edition by Tom Gorman

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Do-It-Yourself Economic Watch

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) releases key economic data, including GDP growth, two or three months after the quarter. The BEA releases an advance estimate of GDP growth for a quarter about a month after the quarter ends, a second estimate about two months after it ends, and a third estimate three months after it ends. These estimates are all subject to revision—and revisions can be significant. Without going into the technicalities, I can say that the delays and estimated nature of these measures reflect the difficulty of measuring something as huge and varied as the U.S. economy.
In this section I provide brief explanations of the indicators and the primary source for the data. Most of these data are ...

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