Data Sources


Data from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook database.

U.S. States

U.S. Department Of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Economic Analysis

The United States. Monthly and Quarterly CEPPI Data Sources


Monthly Inflation rate is a Consumer Price Index y-o-y change, all Urban Consumers – (CPI-U), U.S. city average.
Quarterly Inflation rate is a 3-month average inflation.
Source: U.S. Department Of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics


Unemployment Rate (Seasonally Adjusted)
Source: U.S. Department Of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics


Calculated as a cumulative deficit (receipts minus outlays of the Treasury) of the consecutive 12 months divided by nominal quarterly GDP.
Deficit data source: U.S. Treasury. Monthly Treasury Statement.
Monthly receipts/outlays and deficit/surplus of the United States of the Monthly Treasury Statement.
Nominal GDP data source: Gross Domestic Product and Related Measures, Billions of dollars; quarters seasonally adjusted at annual rates
Bureau of Economic Analysis

Real GDP Growth

Real Gross Domestic Product and Related Measures: Percent Change From Preceding Period, Quarters seasonally adjusted at annual rates
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

U.S. Historical Data

For the U.S., we mainly use historical data provided by “Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennial Edition” (2006). For some indicators and periods, we use WEO and IFS databases from International Monetary Fund. Beginning with the most recent data, several different series are linked together to create a continuous series going back to 1790. In this section, we provide a brief overview of the sources of relevant data.

Real GDP Growth

1929-2002. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates.
1869-1929. The estimates of real gross national product (GNP) were converted to 1996 prices. These figures were then converted to gross domestic product by subtracting net income earned abroad. The resulting time series was then shifted to make a smooth link at 1929.
1860-1869. As there are no direct estimates of national output for the years 1861-1868, the figure for 1869 was estimated. The figure for 1860 is taken from Weiss (1992, 1993).
1840-1860. For 1840, 1850 and 1860 Weiss’s (1992, 1993) estimates of GDP in 1840 prices are used. For the intercensal years, interpolation is used.
1800-1840. Estimates for 1800, 1810, 1820 and 1830 were established by the conjectural method (see David, 1967) for farm output and nonfarm output
1790-1800. Estimates are based on the sum of farm output and nonfarm output, using backward extrapolation from 1800 for farm output and backward extrapolation using the David’s index of industrial production for nonfarm output.


For 1774-1974, estimates by David and Solar (1977) are used, smoothed and merged with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) consumer price index for all urban consumers for 1913-2003 (to splice at the year 1913 to a base of 1982-1984 = 100).


1948-2008. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
1890-1947. Unemployment as a percentage of a civilian labor force used from Weir (1992).
1869-1899. Vernon (1994) estimates.
1790-1868. We use the average unemployment rate of 6.7%.

Deficit as a share of GDP

We separately discuss the data sources of deficit and nominal GDP data.
1959-2009. The IMF data for a Government balance and nominal GDP is used.
1789-1929. “Federal government finances-revenue, expenditure, and debt: 1789-1939” data from U.S. Department of the Treasury.
1929-2008. Budget of the United States Government.
Nominal GDP is constructed as a product of real GDP and price deflator. For the construction of nominal GDP, the price deflator is used:

  • 1869-1929. Balke and Gordon (1989) deflator of GNP, converted to 1996.
  • 1860-1869. Deflator is interpolated between the values for 1860 and 1869 using the David and Solar (1977) consumer price index.
  • 1840-1860. Deflator is interpolated between Weiss’s estimates for 1840, 1850, and 1860 using a simple average of the David-Solar consumer price index, and the wholesale price index for all commodities, converted to a 1996 base by linking at 1860.
  • 1800-1840. Weiss’s estimates for 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840, converted to a 1996 base by linking at 1860.

Since 1840, data on nominal GDP is available. Before 1840, nominal GDP constructed from real GDP estimates (see previous discussion) and the data on GDP deflator for 1800. 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840 using the simple average deflator value for intermediate periods. Using this data, the deficit as a share of nominal GDP is constructed directly.


1. Gordon, R. J. (1997) The time varying NAIRU and its implications for economic policy. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11, 11–32.
2. “Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennial Edition” (2006), edited by Richard Sutch, Susan B. Carter, etc. Cambridge University Press.
3. Weiss, Thomas (1992), U.S. Labor Force Estimates and Economic Growth, 1800–1860. In Robert E. Gallman and John Joseph Wallis, editors. The Standard of Living in the United States before 1860. University of Chicago Press.
4. Weiss, Thomas (1993) Estimates of Gross Domestic Product for the United States, 1800 to 1860. Unpublished paper, University of Kansas (July)
5. David, Paul and Peter Solar (1977) A Bicentenary Contribution to the History of the Cost of Living in America. Research in Economic History 2, 1–80.
6. Balke, Nathan S. and Robert J. Gordon (1989) The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence. Journal of Political Economy 97, 38–92.