economic indicator

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Related to Business indicator: lagging economic indicator

Indicator

A signal of a security's or the broader economy's health. An indicator may cause a company's stock to rise or fall in price. Indicators can be technical or fundamental in nature. There are three basic types of indicator. A leading indicator occurs before an event or trend takes place, and is thought to be predictive. A coincident indicator happens at the same time as the general trend. Finally, a lagging indicator occurs after the trend is well established, and is thought to confirm it. See also: Signal.

economic indicator

A variable such as the unemployment rate or volume of help-wanted advertising that indicates the direction of the economy.

Economic indicator.

Economic indicators are statistical measurements of current business conditions.

Changes in leading indicators, including those that track factory orders, stock prices, the money supply, and consumer confidence, forecast short-term economic strength or weakness.

In contrast, lagging indicators, such as business spending, bank interest rates, and unemployment figures, move up or down in the wake of changes in the economy.

The Conference Board, a nonprofit business research firm, releases its weighted indexes of leading, lagging, and coincident indicators every month.

Though the individual components are also reported separately throughout the month, the indicators provide a snapshot of the economy's overall health.

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