The Top Economic Indicators

Economic reports and indicators are those often-voluminous statistics put out by government agencies, non-profit organizations and even private companies. They provide measurements for evaluating the health of our economy, the latest business cycles and how consumers are spending and generally faring. Various economic indicators are released daily, weekly, monthly and/or quarterly.products

Here’s the most common and vital economic indicators

1-Auto Sales

The number of cars sold during A Particular ten-day period. The timeliness of this indicator (released three after the 10- day period) makes this the most current piece of US economic data. The size of the item in question and the timeliness of the release allow auto sales to be a useful leading indicator of retail sales and personal consumption expenditures data.

2-Balance of trade (Merchandise Trade Balance)

The difference between a nation’s export and import of merchandise. A positive balance of trade, or a surplus, occurs when a country’s exports exceed its imports. A negative balance of trade, or a deficit, occurs when import surpass exports. Rising exports add to GDP while falling imports are subtracted from it

3-Beige Book Fed Survey

Officially known as the Survey on current Economic Conditions, the Beige Book is published eight times per year by a Federal Reserve Bank, containing anecdotal information on current economic and business condition in its district through reports from bank and branch directors, and interviews with key business contact, economists, market exports, and other sources. The Beige Book highlights the activity information by district and sector. The survey normally covers a period of about 4-weeks in duration, and is released two weeks prior to each FOMC meeting which is also held eight times per year. While being deemed by some as a lagging report, the Beige Book has usually served as a helpful indicator to FOMC policy decisions on monetary policy

4-CBI Surveys

Britain largest organization of business employers, aims at creating and sustaining favorable conditions for their optimal competition and prosperity. The CBI published monthly and quarterly surveys on past, current and future assessments on the manufacturing and services sectors. The indexes reflect respondent views on various items such as, sales, prices, inventories, and export/import orders.

5-Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Measures the change in prices at the consumer level for a fixed basket of goods and services paid for by a typical consumer. Items included in the CPI reflect prices of food. clothing , shelter , fuels , transportation , health care and all other goods and services that people buy for day – to – day living . These items are divided into seven categories (housing, food, transportation, medical care, apparel, entertainment, and other), each of which is weighted by their relative importance.

6-Current Account

The most important part of international trade data. It is broadest measure of sales and purchase of goods, services, interest payments and unilateral transfers. The entire merchandise trade balance is contained in the current account See Capital account.

7-Durable Goods Orders

These include large ticket items such as capital goods (machinery, plant and equipment), transportation and defense orders. They are extremely important in that they anticipate changes in production and thus, signal term is the economic cycle.

8-Employment Report

In the US, the employment report, also known as the labor report is regarded as the most important among all economic indicators. Usually released on the first Friday of the month, the report provides the first comprehensive look at the economy, covering nine economic categories. Here are the 3 main components of the report.

Payroll Employment; Measures the change in number of workers in a given month. It is important to compare this figure to a monthly moving average (6 or 9 months) so as to capture a true perspective of the trend in labor market strength. Equally important are the frequent revision for the prior month, which are often significant.

Un employment Rate: the percentage of the civilian labor force actively looking for employment but unable to find jobs. Although it is a highly proclaimed figure ( due to simplicity of the number and its political implications ) , the unemployment rate gets relatively less importance in the market because it is known to be a lagging indicator – It usually falls behind economic turns .

Average Hourly Earnings Growth: The growth rate between one month’s average hourly rate and another’s sheds light on wages growth and, hence, assesses the potential of wage- push inflation. the year – on – year rate is also important in capturing the longer – term trend

9-Factory Orders and Manufacturing Inventories

In many reports this report is a rehash of the durable goods release that became available a week earlier. However, the factory orders report merits review because it also contains data on orders and shipments of non-durable goods, manufacturing inventories, and the inventory / sales ratio.

10-Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Measures the market value of goods and services produced in a country, regardless of the nationally of the firm owning these resources. There are four major components of the GDP are: consumption, investment, government purchases, and net exports. The headline figure is the quarterly release of the percentage growth over the previous quarter (q/q) or year (y/y ) .The GDP report has three release : i) advanced release (first) ; ii) preliminary release (1st revision ) ; and iii) final release (2nd and last revision )  . These revisions usually have a substantial impact on the market.


Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices Is the official inflation measure for the Euro zone.

12-Housing Starts/Building Permits

are economic indicators used to determine the health of the housing sector. In the United States, housing start and building permit data is released by the Census Bureau, and is estimated from the Survey of Construction (SOC) and the Building Permits Survey (BPS)

13-(IFO) Institute for Economic Research

Germany’s leading survey of business conditions .Published monthly by the institute for Economic Research, one of the largest economic think tanks in Germany, the IFO Business Climate Index is a widely followed leading indicator of economic activity known for its track record in calling economic turns in German economic growth. The index surveys over 7.000 enterprises on their assessment of the current business situation and their resulting plans for the short – term. In addition to this aforementioned headline index, there is the Current Situation Index and Business Expectations Index

14-New Home Sales

Is an economic indicator which records sales of newly constructed residences in the United States of America. The report also contains information on home prices and number of houses for sale.

15-Producer Price Index (PPI)

Measures the monthly change in whole sales prices and is broken down by commodity, industry and stage of production..

17-FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee)

It is a committee that decides the interest rate on the US dollar. This committee consists of 7 members of the Board of Governors, and 5 of the 12 Federal Reserve Bank Presidents.

18- Retail sales

Measures the percentage monthly change in total receipts of retail stores, and includes durable and non- durable goods. It is the first real indication of the strength of consumer expenditure.

19-Tankan Survey

Japan’s first business survey, complied quarterly by the Bank of Japan. It consists of a questionnaire to manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms, both large and small.

20-Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index:

Is a survey of consumer confidence conducted by the University of Michigan.The index is nothing more than a snapshot of whether consumers feel like spending their money or not .

21-Consumer Confidence:

Is an economic indicator that measures the degree of optimism that consumers feel about the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation. The Consumer Confidence studies the “Spending” and “Saving” intention of customer.  

23-Initial Claims:

Also referred to jobless claims. The numbers are released each week by US department of labor & measure the weekly change on state application for unemployment benefits

24-Nom-farm Payroll:

Is a monthly survey of the number of new jobs created. It is a very important indicator of the unemployment rate. This indicator is generally released on the first Friday of each month .

For More info :

You can also download the PDF file herethe-top-economic-indicators


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