Census Bureau Reschedules Key Reports Following Shutdown

The Census Bureau, which is responsible for reports on 12 of the leading economic indicators, added some datapoints on the impact of the 16-day government shutdown by unveiling a revised release calendar on Monday.

The delays ranged from one week to 18 days, though some of the releases scheduled at the back end did not change.

The report of October data on housing vacancies and homeownership, for example, is delayed from Oct. 29 to Nov. 5, the report of August data on Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales is delayed from Oct. 11 to Oct. 29, and the September report on new residential construction is delayed from Oct. 17 to Nov. 26.

During the shutdown, the Census Bureau’s work came to a “halt,” according to an Oct. 11 statement by the nonprofit advocacy group the Census Project. “Virtually all government-sponsored data is now unavailable to the public and policymakers because of the government shutdown,” wrote co-directors Mary Jo Hoeksema, Terri Ann Lowenthal and Phil Sparks.

“Data users across the country cannot access the nation’s primary source of objective, reliable information on demographic and socio-economic trends,” they said. “This data black-out hampers the ability of businesses to make key investment, workforce and inventory decisions. Ironically, without these economic indicators, Congress cannot fully understand the economic impact of the shutdown.”

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