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Economic Indicators



Definition and Purpose


Leading economic Indiacotrs

The leading economic indicators are a set of 10 statistics that are used to forecast upturns or downturns in the economy, including average weekly unemployment insurance claims filed and manufacturers' new  orders for consumer goods.


Average weekly hours, manufacturing

The average hours worked per week by production workers in manufacturing industries


Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance

The number of new claims filed for unemployment insurance


Manufacturers' new orders, consumer goods and materials:

Order for goods that are primarily used by consumers


Vendor performance, slower deliveries diffusion index:

The index measures the relative speed at which industrial companies receive deliveries from their suppliers


Manufacturer's new orders, nondefence capital goods:

New orders received by manufacturers in nondefense capital-goods industries.


Building permits, new private housing units:

The number of residential building permits issued as an indicator of construction activity


Stock prices, 500 common stocks:

New York-based Standard & Poor's S&P 500 stock index reflects the price movements of a broad selection of common stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange Inc.


Money supply:

When the money supply doesn't keep pace with inflation, bank lending may  fall in real terms, making it harder for the economy to expand.


Interest rate spread (10 - year Treasury bonds, less federal funds):

An indicator of federal monetary policy and general financial conditions


Index of consumer expectations:

This index reflects changes in consumer attitudes concerning future economic conditions and is completely expectation-based.

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