Summary-Level Data: Published data. Use summary-level data if you are looking for a quick statistic such as the unemployment rates or the GDP for various countries.
Micro-Level Data: This is the numerically-coded results of individual responses, such as census questionnaires, public opinion surveys, etc. You can work with the data and run your own statistical analyses on it via programs such as SPSS, SAS or other statistical software. If you are working with the raw data, you need to use the data documentation (codebook) that accompanies the data and write a program or use an extraction program to have the computer "read" the data into a useable format.
Data Documentation, Data Dictionaries, Codebooks: These provide information on the structure, content, and layout of a data file and, if applicable, the questionnaire used for the survey or study. Many codebooks are available with the data file.
If you haven't already found data, but need to for your project, use our Finding Data & Statistics Guide to help you find and cite data.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but is intended to point you to the economic indicators frequently reported in the news.