NAHB Averts End to Census Bureau Remodeling Data
As a result of action by NAHB, the U.S. Census Bureau announced last week that it will continue through the end of this year to make quarterly reports on the amount spent on improving and maintaining residential structures in the U.S.
After learning last year that the Census Bureau was planning to stop collecting data on residential remodeling and apply the annual $1 million cost of that effort to help improve coverage of the economy’s service sector, NAHB swung into action and alerted the agency of the importance of the remodeling information to the association’s economic research and policy analysis and to members who widely use the data to track developments in the industry.
Included in its remodeling findings, the Census Bureau publishes an annual report that breaks spending down by type of job. It also supplies the Bureau of Economic Analysis with the number it uses to generate the remodeling component of residential fixed investment, which totaled $178 billion, or about 1.5% of the gross domestic product, in 2006.
NAHB strongly advocated preserving the government’s remodeling data in letters, phone calls and meetings with members of Congress, the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce.
On Jan. 14, the Census Bureau informed NAHB that it had found enough savings elsewhere in its budget to keep producing residential remodeling statistics through 2008. However, it made no promises beyond 2008, and the victory may be only temporary.
For more information, e-mail Paul Emrath at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8449.
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