WASHINGTON, MAY 3, 2004-Checking the country's
GDP-or other vital economic facts-is easy on economywatch.org.
Here's what you do:
Step # 1 - Log on to the Internet.
Step # 2 - Type economywatch.org in the address field.
Step # 3 - When economywatch.org pops up, look at the right side of the screen.
There you will find the latest figures for key economic measures such as employment, unemployment, inflation and gross domestic product.
Simple? Yes. And for a reason: The Heritage Foundation, the Washington-based think tank that runs economywatch.org, knows that policy-makers need basic facts fast to foster informed economic debate and policy decisions.
"There's no spin on this," said Tim Kane, a research fellow in Heritage's Center for Data Analysis who oversees the site. "The Web site consolidates vital facts from official sources like the Labor Department and the Federal Reserve. Our aim is to make economic data easily accessible, so that facts rather than rhetoric can lead policy-makers' discussions."
The regularly updated site also offers charts and graphs for some economic information such as unemployment figures. In addition, the site offers a Web log, or "blog," on the latest economic news on topics such as the corporate tax bill, house sales and consumer confidence. It also has Heritage's latest economic research and even allows people to e-mail Kane with their comments and suggestions for the site.
"We want to hear from people," Kane said. "If they want to see more on productivity figures, for example, we'll provide them. If they want more labor statistics, we'll provide that, too. We want economywatch.org to be a 'living document' that will grow and change over time based on feedback from Congress and the public."