The Survey of Current Business is 100! We are pleased to present a look back at a century of achievements and innovation highlighting each decade of its history with original articles, reprints from the BEA archives, profiles of top influencers, downloadable posters, and other historical content.
The Origins of the Survey of Current Business: A Window on the Evolution of Economic Policy, Research, and Statistics
Dr. Andrew D. Reamer, a research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy at George Washington University and a longtime BEA Advisory Committee member, discusses the Survey's early role in economic stabilization policy and in the development of national income accounting.
The Development of Gross National Product
BEA staff introduce reprints of a 1942 article on the first estimates of gross national product and a 1947 article and supplemental report on major improvements to national income and product data.
Edward Fulton Denison: Renowned Scholar of Economic Growth Theory and National Income and Product Accounting
This top influencer profile chronicles the economist's contributions to gross national product and growth accounting.
From October 1941 to July 1944, the Survey of Current Bussiness began each issue with a summary page titled Economic Highlights. These pages featured a quick-read, single-page analysis of recent data on subjects of particular interest to Survey readership.
During the 1940s, the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, publisher of the Survey, made some policy changes, including establishing a simplified publishing program for the duration of World War II, switching to revised national income and gross national products statistics, and announcing that the Survey is now prepared in the Office of Business Economics.
Beginning in March 1940, the Survey reorganized its contents to begin each issue with a new section titled The Business Situation. This introductory section featured a summary of economic developments over the past month and evolved over the decade to feature several subsections including charts and tables. This new feature eventually evolved to what is now GDP and the Economy.
Every year during the 1940s, the Survey published an annual issue. Each annual issue—which cost 5¢ more than regular issues—featured an overarching theme, some of which are shown here.
Beginning in 1943, the Survey published a six-part series of articles on professional incomes, focusing on veterinary medicine, the legal service, nursing, medical services, and dentistry, culminating in May 1944 with an article comparing nine independent professions.