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Guide to Economic Indicators: Making Sense of Economicsby The Economist
The seventh edition of this well-established guide explains all you need to know in order to understand and interpret economic figures so that you can make your own mind up about, for example, the way different economies are performing or whether it is the right time to move into a new market. With more than 90 tables and charts, it looks at all the main economic… See more details below
The seventh edition of this well-established guide explains all you need to know in order to understand and interpret economic figures so that you can make your own mind up about, for example, the way different economies are performing or whether it is the right time to move into a new market. With more than 90 tables and charts, it looks at all the main economic indicators and answers such questions as:
What are they? What are GDP, the invisibles balance, the terms of trade?
What do they cover? What is included in retail sales data, what is not in GDP, who is in the labour force?
What is their significance? What do GDP, capacity utilisation or terms of trade tell us?
Where and when are they published? Should you look for weekly figures from the central bank, monthly information from a private organisation, quarterly figures from the Department of Commerce, and so on.
How reliable are they? Reasonably reliable in the case of spending by a government department, reasonably unreliable in the case of the size of the labour force.
Will they be revised? For example, GDP data are revised endlessly, consumer price data rarely.
How do you interpret them? The most important question.
The guide contains three introductory chapters and ten chapters covering the following indicators:
Growth: trends and cycles Nominal gdp; gdp per head; Real gdp; gdp output; gdp expenditure; Productivity; Cyclical or leading indicators.
Population, employment and unemployment Population; Labour or workforce; Employment; Unemployment and vacancies.
Fiscal indicators Public expenditure; Government revenues; Budget balance, deficit, surplus; National debt, government or public debt.
Consumers Personal income, disposable income; Consumer and personal expenditure, private consumption; Personal and household savings, savings ratio; Consumer confidence.
Investment and savings Fixed investment and gdfcf; Investment intentions; Stocks (inventories); National savings, savings ratio.
Industry and commerce Business conditions, indices and surveys; Industrial and manufacturing production; Capacity use and utilisation; Manufacturing orders; Motor vehicles; Construction orders and output; Housing starts, completions and sales; Wholesale sales or turnover, orders and stocks; Retail sales or turnover, orders and stocks.
The balance of payments Accounting conventions; Exports of goods and services; Imports of goods and services; Trade balance, merchandise trade balance; Current-account balance; Capital- and financial-account flows; International investment position (IIP); Official reserves; External debt, net foreign assets.
Exchange rates Nominal exchange rates; Special drawing rights (sdrs); emu, ecu, erm and euro; Effective exchange rates; Real exchange rates, competitiveness; Terms of trade.
Money and financial markets Money supply, money stock, m0 ... m5, liquidity; Bank lending, advances, credit, consumer credit; Central bank policy rates; Interest rates, short-term and money-market rates; Bond yields; Yield curves, gaps and ratios; Real interest rates and yields; Share prices.
Prices and wages Price indicators; Gold price; Oil prices; Commodity price indices; Export and import prices, unit values; Producer and wholesale prices; Surveys of price expectations; Wages, earnings and labour costs; Unit labour costs; Consumer or retail prices; House prices; Consumer or private expenditure deflators; GDP deflators.
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