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What would you consider as an economic indicator ?

  1. LAURENS WRIGHT profile image57
    LAURENS WRIGHTposted 4 years ago

    What would you consider as an economic indicator ?

    In times past, Walmart and Woolworth's sales were economic indicators.  Then economic indicators become the Stock Market and unemployment.   My way of thinking would be percentage of the total population without full time jobs as a negative indicator.  I also would see that the amount of RV's and campers that I could count on a major highway would also be an indicator, being that the more RV's and campers would mean that people had enough disposable income to spend it on leisure activities.  What indicators would you choose to determine how good the economy is and could be?

  2. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 4 years ago

    Traditionally, the stock market and the unemployment rate were major indicators. However, times have changed. As you noted there are a lot of RVs and campers many with people once thought old and now do not seem so old. People retiring in their early 60s, with grown children who made good investments during their working years have more disposable income than most our grandparents had. Thus we have to look at the percentage of the population that wants to work and come up with a figure showing the employment rate. I lost my last job at 59and one-half. I looked for a job for almost three years. I no longer look and am now retired, as is my wife, who is about the same age. We are not the RV type but there are things we like to do and with our savings, some planning and our social security, our monthly income is close to what I was bringing home when I was working. Since we paid off our house, sold it and moved to a smaller one, we are comfortable at our income level.

    So to answer your question, the indicators of the health of the economy have to be weighed in a manner that accounts for the changes in our lifestyle, the health of the older generation and other factors.

  3. dashingscorpio profile image88
    dashingscorpioposted 4 years ago

    KPI's (key performance indicators) have traditionally been determined by stock market performance, unemployment, low inflation and interest rates, and manufacturing orders. The belief was if business is doing well then the nation must be doing well!
    Today the stock market is hovering at all time highs, interest rates for home loans remain low and unemployment is at 6.3% According to economic indicators we have added private sector jobs for 50 straight months! And yet a lot of people do not (feel) good about the state of the economy.
    Outsourcing manufacturing jobs has changed the whole economic paradigm. A company might increase production but in (other) countries where employees earn $5-$10 per (day). This would increase profits for the company and also make it attractive for investors to get a good return by purchasing the company's stocks. A company makes record profits and investors get great returns.
    Many U.S. blue collar employees have been forced into lower paying service sector jobs. If one has a job it means they're not "unemployed" which brings down the unemployment rate.
    The less money people earn the less they spend which keeps down inflation as well as interest rates. This has led to fast food workers asking for $15 per hour. Essentially you have adults with families working in jobs that were once regulated for teenagers or people seeking extra part-time income. I can't tell you the last time I saw an actual "paperboy" or a kid cutting lawns for money. Most of these jobs are being handled by adults today!
    In reality this has been a "Swiss Cheese" recovery in part because some high tech companies are doing well and some states have (aggressively) gone after corporations to relocate to (their) state offering low to $0 taxes rates for up to ten years. When one state brags about the number of jobs it has increased it is usually offset by another state who lost jobs due to those companies relocating.
    Last but not least there is a (psychological) component involved with how we (feel) about the economy. I know people who have not been laid off, did not have their home foreclosed on, may have even gotten a few raises over the years, have money in savings, and so on BUT they still do not (feel) secure about their future prospects. Some feel guilty or may even have empathy pains for those they know or have heard about who have not done as well.
    The only real economic indicator is how (you) "feel" about (your) economic future. The (good) "numbers" don't mean anything anymore!