Trump White House might curb media’s early peek at key U.S. economic data

Bloomberg Are big changes in store for how the government releases key economic reports such as GDP and unemployment?

The Trump administration reportedly might curb a longstanding practice giving the media an early peek at sensitive U.S. economic data such as inflation and employment, marking the biggest change in decades in how critical market-moving information is distributed to investors and the public.

Bloomberg News on Tuesday reported an announcement could come soon, perhaps as early as this week. Officials at the Labor Department did not return messages seeking comment.

For years, a small group of reporters have been given access to government reports 30 to 60 minutes before the public in what’s called a lockup. Reporters are confined to a room at the Labor Department while they write their news articles. They get to ask questions, seek clarification or ask for historical comparisons to give context to what are often very complicated economic reports.

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When the lockup ends, reporters file their articles online at the same time the government makes the reports available to the public.

How the lockup works

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 14, 2020

The point of giving the media an early peek at economic data was to help ensure the news was disseminated accurately and broadly to the wider public at the same time. Every now and then reporters even find mistakes in the government data and help prevent the spread of incorrect information.

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The tradition of lockups came under fire, however, in 2012 after several data breaches in the Obama and Bush administrations. Senior officials at the time complained about the

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