If you need statistical information that is collected by the United States government, but you're not sure where to look, start with USA.gov (formerly known as FedStats). This website is the gateway to data provided by more than 100 federal agencies.
The USA.gov search box works like other search engines you're used to, but it only returns results from government web pages, most ending in .gov or .mil. This helps you be sure you’re getting official information you can trust -- and there’s no advertising.
Topics covered by USA.gov include consumer issues, education, health, housing, jobs and unemployment, money and taxes, legal issues, the environment, small business, transportation, and the military.
The U.S. Department of Commerce website is the central hub for finding economic and business data that is collected by federal government agencies. Their Economic Indicators Dashboard provides quarterly statistics on topics such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), corporate profits, residential construction, personal income, international trade, foreign investment, and much more.
The U.S. Census Bureau counts much more than people! Here are a few of the business-related surveys they use to report economic data.
Economic Indicators -- Examines retail sales, retail and wholesale inventories, manufacturing of goods, quarterly profits, construction spending, homeownership, and other data points that help analysts determine how well the U.S. economy is doing.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is part of the Department of Commerce. They collect data on a wide variety of economic topics, including foreign trade and investment; the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); consumer income and spending; employment; and inflation.
For an overview, start with the latest "U.S. Economy at a Glance" report.
To locate statistics about a particular industry, go to the "Industry Facts" page and select a sector of the economy from the drop-down menu.
Other useful reports from the BEA include:
The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) provides access to financial documents that companies are required to submit to the federal government -- commonly known as EDGAR filings (that stands for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval). The filings include annual and quarterly reports. Note: some data may be displayed in Excel charts.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and its regional offices offer guidance for entrepreneurs who want to: