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What Are Economic Indicators?

Updated on April 25, 2013

Do you want to know how the US economy is doing?

Learn how to interpret and analyze the date savvy investors, economist and professionals use to understand the economy. Economic indicators track the health of the US economy.

Here’s a look at some of them and what they mean to your personal economy.

Are you curious about privately owned real estate?

Take a look at the housing start and US median existing single-family home price indicators.

Housing Starts Indicator

The housing start indicator predicts large consumer purchases. It looks at new construction of privately owned housing unites where the foundations are being placed. Purchases like furniture and/or appliances are tracked.

US Median Existing Home Price Indicator

This indicator looks at prices that reflect conditions in homebuilding and related industries. These housing prices are important because they measure consumers’ willingness to buy.

Wondering if he can really afford this date?


Have you ever wanted to take a look into other people’s personal finances?

Use the following indicators to take a peek;

The Personal Savings Rate Indicator reveals how Americans save and spend. It indicates the savings rate as a percentage of disposal income. Disposal income is what’s left after taxes.

The Consumer Confidence Index is a popular indicator. It’s measured monthly. It shows how consumers feel about the US economy and their personal finances. Confident consumers spend cash, whereas worried consumes delay their purchases.

The Revolving Consumer Debt per Household Indicator is reported quarterly. It tells whether or not consumers are paying off their debts. The number is obtained by dividing the number of households carrying a credit card balance each month by the amount of revolving consumer debt.

When consumers spend less the economy slows down but when consumers consume a lot prices rises. The Price Index for Personal Consumption Expenditures gauges inflation. It reveals the amount of money consumers spend on goods and services. This indicator does not include food and energy consumption.

Did You Know The Unemployment Office Is Used To Measure the Pace of Hiring?


Are Americans going back to work?

If you want to know the answer to that question, then look at these two indicators. Although both indicators are seasonally adjusted to reveal the underlying trends in labor markets. They serve as strong indicators to the overall health of the US economy.

The monthly US Unemployment Rate Indicator is watched by many people.


People need jobs in order to make purchases. The US Unemployment Rate Indicator reveals the percentage of working-age men and women who want to work but are unable to find employment. Out of work Americans restrain economic growth. This number is important to all Americans.

Another highly watched economic indicator is the US Weekly Unemployment Claims number. As the name suggests, it is reported weekly. Every Thursday it indicates whether or not companies are laying people off. It reports the number of first-time filings for unemployment insurance throughout the nation.


The Personal Financial Edge

Business people, economists, and investors aren't the only people that should use economic indicators. Anyone interested in improving their own finances should understand and use them to benefit their own economic lives. If the economy is sputtering, companies are laying off, and housing is slowing then consumers should not be buying. When used and understood correctly economic indicators give consumers a personal economic edge. Learn more about them and use them to your advantage today.


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