"Gross domestic product", "leading economic indicators", "consumer price index"--these are terms we hear on the evening news and read in our daily newspapers. They are statistical series used to measure the health of the U.S. economy. Here Darnay, the compiler of such business reference sources as "Manufacturing USA" ["RBB" Je 15 90], provides 805 tables for 267 series. The tables are almost all based on U.S. government sources, usually the Commerce or Labor departments. Most tables are current as of 1991. Some give monthly data for the past 20 years, others for 50 years, and some go back more than 100 years. Most series are given in two forms: in actual dollars and converted to constant dollars
Each statistical series is introduced by an explanation of the tables, which is accessible to laypeople. Brief bibliographies are often provided for further reading. Among the tables in the gross national product and gross domestic product series are "Change in Business Inventories" and "Net Exports of Goods and Services." Also given are business-cycle indicators (composite indexes of leading, coincident, and lagging indicators) and such cyclic indicators as unemployment. The consumer price index is presented for the average U.S. city and then for 27 specific cities. For each city are listed figures for food, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, and entertainment. Producer price indexes are given for a range of businesses from farm products to machinery and equipment. The final chapter provides selected stock-market indexes. A keyword index completes the volume
Libraries with large government-publications collections will be able to pull together some of the information presented here. However, having data provided for these series since their inceptions in one volume is extremely handy. Academic and large public libraries will find "Economic Indicators Handbook" a worthy addition to their business collections.