Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators

by Mansi Gupta

Economic indicators are regularly released governmental statistics that indicate the growth and health of a country especially its economy. Economic indicators mostly influence the value of a country's currency. These are key statistics that show the direction of the economy. The Trade Deficit, the Gross National Product (GNP), Industrial Production, the Unemployment Rate, Inflation Rate, Factory Utilization Rate and the Business Inventories are instances of economic indicators.

Economic indicators are used to analyze the economic behavior of a country and predict the manner in which economy will act in near future. On the basis of types of predictions economic indicators are of three kinds:

  • Coincident economic indicator
  • Leading economic indicator
  • Lagging indicators

A coincident economic indicator happens in tandem with an economic event. This indicator occurs at approximately the same time as the conditions they signify. The paradigm instance of it is company payrolls. These payrolls are coincident indicators because they make payment and simultaneously increase the localized economy. Personal income is also a coincidental indicator for the economy. High personal income rates will coincide with a strong economy. The coincident indicators do not predict future events but change with a change in time and economy of the stock market.

A lagging indicator is one that follows an event. This indicator is an event, which happens after the corresponding economic cause occurs just like the amber light is a lagging indicator for the green light as amber trails green. The unemployment rate of a country is an example of a lagging indicator because as the economy is doing badly or companies are expecting a downturn in the economy, the unemployment rate increases accordingly. Media is also a lagging economic indicator for the news is always reported few hours before the actual economic fluctuation that they point to. A lagging indicator is immensely significant because of its ability to confirm that a pattern is happening or about to occur.

Leading indicators are events that take place right before an economic shift. The leading indicators are instrumental in forecasting future events. The leading indicators exhibit immense accuracy in the world of finance. An example of leading indicators is the bond yields. Bond yields are leading indicators of the stock market because on behalf of these bond traders anticipate and further course of the stock market and economy of the country.

However in economics the classification of several factors is subject to debate. For instance according to some people the Federal Reserve is a leading indicator while for others it is a lagging indicator. The trend of the market indicates either that the market reacts to the Federal Reserve changing interest rates or that the Federal Reserve changes interest rates only in response to the market. Seeing practically the Federal Reserve can be viewed as both a leading and lagging indicator.

Every week dozens of economic surveys are conducted and several economic indicators are released. In order to understand the current and future of the market and so enjoy a successful business, it is very important for all the investors to crack the economic indicators skillfully.

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