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The Commerce Blog

The 2009 Holiday Season

U.S. Department of Commerce Fourteenth Street main entrance with holiday wreaths and bows above doors. Click for larger image.

The holiday season is a time for gathering with friends and family to reflect and give thanks. At this time of year, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau presents holiday-related facts and figures from its data collection, including the details about mail, retail sales, toys, trees and decorations and much more. The Census Bureau projects the nation’s population at 308 million as we ring in the New Year 2010. Happy Holidays from the U.S. Department of Commerce! (More)

Census: Texas Gains Most in Population, Last Estimates Before 2010 Census Counts

Map of USA (Department of Commerce). Click for larger map.

Texas gained more people than any other state between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009 (478,000), followed by California (381,000), North Carolina (134,000), Georgia (131,000) and Florida (114,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates. “This is the final set of Census Bureau state population estimates that will be published before the official 2010 Census population counts to be released next December," said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. "We are focused now on ensuring we get a complete and accurate count in 2010." (More) (2010 Census)

Under Secretary Blank Locke Statement on November 2009 Personal Income and Outlays

Under Secretary Blank on podium.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released personal income and outlays data for November 2009. Personal income rose 0.4 percent, real disposable personal income increased 0.2 percent and real personal consumption expenditures advanced 0.2 percent. The saving rate in November was unchanged at 4.7 percent. “Consumer spending continues to expand in the fourth quarter of this year in sharp contrast with the declines a year ago,” said Commerce Department Under Secretary Rebecca Blank. (More) (Release)

Census: Nationwide Movement of Goods Reached 12.5 Billion Tons in 2007

Census Bureau seal.

Total shipments of goods in the United States accounted for nearly $11.7 trillion in revenue and 12.5 billion tons in 2007, according to new data released jointly by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. That is up from $8.4 trillion and 11.7 billion tons in 2002. These figures come from the 2007 Commodity Flow Survey, conducted every five years as part of the Census Bureau’s 2007 Economic Census. (More)

Under Secretary Blank Statement on Third Estimate of GDP in the Third Quarter 2009

Portrait of Blank.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released the third estimate of gross domestic product for the third quarter of 2009. Growth in real GDP was 2.2 percent at an annual rate, revised from the previous estimate of 2.8 percent. “The third-quarter gain marked the start of an economic recovery after a very deep recession,” U.S. Commerce Under Secretary Rebecca Blank said. “Consumer spending, residential construction and imports and exports have all moved from declines into positive growth in the third quarter.” (More) (Release)

Secretary Locke Announces $15.6 Million Grant to restore St. Louis Port

Secretary Locke with Commerce seal and flag in background.

File photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a $15.6 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to reconstruct the St. Louis Municipal Terminal’s South Dock, which was damaged by extensive flooding in 2008. Three local St. Louis businesses served by the port met with Locke and Mayor Francis Slay before a City Hall news conference this morning to discuss the impact of ensuring the continuation of the area’s supply chain of river-related commerce. “Reconstruction of the critically important South Dock saves existing jobs and creates new ones by strengthening local connections to the global marketplace,” Locke said. (More) (Remarks)

Deputy Secretary Hightower Announces $39.7 Million Investment to Increase Broadband Access in New York

Hightower, Arcuri and SUNY Cortland president Dr. Erik J. Bitterbaum. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis F. Hightower and New York Congressman Michael Arcuri traveled to The State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland to spotlight a $39.7 million Recovery Act grant that will bring broadband Internet service to communities across the state that lack the technology. The investment will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic development, create jobs and improve education and health care. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces $25.4 Million Investment to Increase Broadband Access to Maine, Vice President Announces $183 Million in 17 States

Recovery Act logo

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered remarks at the University of Maine announcing a $25.4 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to help bring high-speed Internet access to underserved communities across the state. The project, and the private investments it will enable, has the potential to connect one-fifth of all Maine households to a high-speed, 21st century Internet backbone. Earlier in the day in Georgia, Vice President Joe Biden also announced an initial $183 million to expand broadband access in 17 states. (More) (Remarks) (VP Biden release)

NOAA Highlights Tsunami Advances, Urges Quick Action When Tsunami Threatens

Logo of TsunamiReady Community. Click to go to TsunamiReady Web site.

NOAA’s TsunamiReady Community

In December 2004, lack of an effective international warning system contributed to unprecedented loss of life when a tsunami devastated countless communities around the Indian Ocean and stunned the rest of the world. Through Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States accelerated preparation for a potential tsunami along the U.S. coastline and efforts to build partnerships for an international warning program. According to NOAA tsunami experts, the key to surviving a destructive tsunami is people’s ability to receive warnings and willingness to act quickly to move inland or to higher ground. (More)

Secretary Locke and Vice President Biden Host Middle Class Task Force Meeting Focused on Manufacturing

Official White House logo

Secretary Gary Locke joined Vice President Joe Biden to host a Middle Class Task Force meeting on the future of manufacturing. At the meeting, Biden announced the administration’s support for up to $10 billion in additional funding for a successful Recovery Act program to accelerate job growth in clean energy manufacturing—tripling the funding of the Recovery Act’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. Other meeting participants included Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers, and business, labor and academic leaders in the manufacturing sector. (Remarks) (Middle Class Task Force Web site)