The Top 10 Economic Indicators: What to Watch and Why

Posted on October 2, 2012 | Investing

Economic reports and indicators are those often-voluminous statistics put out by government agencies, non-profit organizations and even private companies. They provide measurements for evaluating the health of our economy, the latest business cycles and how consumers are spending and generally faring. Various economic indicators are released daily, weekly, monthly and/or quarterly.

While it is important to keep a pulse on the economy, few analysts or economists wade through all of these massive volumes of data.

Which reports are worth it—and why?

Here’s a primer on 10 of the most common and vital economic indicators. Even if you don’t follow these reports yourself, it is helpful to know where the “experts” are drawing their opinions from. If you do peruse these reports, remember that data can change rapidly, and that broad trends are not judged by one isolated economic data point.

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