Economic Statistics:

Measurement Problems Can Affect the Budget and Economic Policy-Making

GGD-95-99: Published: May 2, 1995. Publicly Released: May 2, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed problems with economic statistics, focusing on how they can affect the federal budget as well as the formulation of economic policy.

GAO found that: (1) many economists believe that several technical problems limit the Consumer Price Index's (CPI) accuracy in measuring inflation; (2) these technical problems could cause CPI to overstate inflation, although complete information on measurement errors is inconclusive; (3) the extent and direction of inflation measurement is important, since slight misstatements could significantly affect government costs; and (4) statistical limitations can affect the policymaking process by increasing policymakers' uncertainty about current economic conditions and the potential effectiveness of economic policies.

Sep 28, 2018

Sep 20, 2018

Sep 17, 2018

Sep 12, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Aug 30, 2018

Aug 27, 2018

Aug 15, 2018

Jul 30, 2018

Jul 26, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here