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From an email by E. M., May 19, 1999

To whom it may concern:

Your web site is so *outstanding* that, for the first time in my four years of web experience, I simply must write.

The amount of information available is a bit overwhelming. After working with a few data series of interest, it is difficult not to explore many others.

The GIF, PDF, and Excel output formats are well-chosen. I don't know what more could be asked, but I suppose you have received requests for others.

Your charting is easy, remarkably fast, and addictive.

Your web site is a fine example of the revolutionary changes being wrought via the Internet -- a lot of free, useful information (in keeping with the origins of the Internet), and extended fee-based services for those who need them.

And I, for one, appreciate your not using cookies.

Again, congratulations on a web site well conceived and executed, and best wishes for a successful business venture.

From a webpage by the Gale Group, Rettig on Reference, May 17, 1999

The Statistical Abstract of the United States (Washington: U.S. Department of Commerce — annual) offers convenient access to a significant amount of economic data presented in tabular form; so do innumerable other publications of the U.S. Commerce Department and other government agencies. Students, government analysts, academics, social policy analysts, businesspeople, and others use this data in various ways, often after doing a good deal of data entry and massaging that data through various software. While doing all of this, they must often think to themselves, "There has to be an easier way." And there is — if the data they need appears in the 100,000-data file collection available at

Its users can select data sets from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Federal Reserve, and other agencies; select relevant variables; and generate a GIF or PDF (using Adobe Acrobat) chart that can be downloaded and pasted into a document to illustrate a point. It is almost, well, magic! In further magic, some data series can be downloaded as an Excel file and some as a self-updating Excel file. Gathering, depicting, and capturing economic data for analysis or reporting can hardly get any easier or more convenient. Libraries should enrich their reference Web sites with a link to for the convenience of businesspeople, students, and others.

From a webpage of the James G. Gee Library, the Commerce Library of Texas A & M University, May 10, 1999

Every student of economics should visit and browse.

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Sites of Interest: Conerly Consulting: Economics for Business Decisions *

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