As you draw up long-term business plans and want to gain perspective on the agricultural and general economies check out these U.S. government agency Web sites. The Bureau of Labor Statistics posts its unemployment and inflation rate press releases on the web immediately after they’re written. The Bureau of Economic Analysis does the same with the Gross Domestic Product data.

The Federal Reserve publishes news releases on interest rates and exchange rates. In addition, the White House has an economic statistics briefing room that collects statistics from all the other agencies.

You can click on the Web sites at:

These Web sites address what’s happening right now, but what about the future? According to Purdue University, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office provides forecasts for the next 10 years. If you want a second opinion for the short term, look up the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics, which puts out a quarterly forecast. You also can check the Economics Illustrated Monthly Survey of Wall Street Economists. The Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics provides forecasts on the general economy and many sectors of the agricultural economy.