“Federal officials are discussing changes to how the government releases sensitive economic data, seeking to bring the system in line with fast-moving financial markets.
“While the talks are preliminary, officials are driven by their growing concern about leaks and their unease that high-speed trading firms can trade on market-moving numbers before other investors, say people familiar with the discussions.
“The talks have covered a number of options, including eliminating the current system, which releases data via embargoed news releases to the media; building a single, technologically secure facility for all government agencies to use to distribute data; and publishing economic data directly on the Internet.
“The discussions are among the first steps toward what could be the most comprehensive change in a generation to how the federal government sends data, such as the unemployment rate, productivity numbers and other indicators of the economy’s performance to the public and Wall Street. The Wall Street Journal, in a series of Page One articles, has examined leaks of sensitive government data.”
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