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Economic Indicators For Dummies

Economic Indicators For Dummies

Michael Griffis

ISBN: 978-1-118-16389-4

Sep 2011

408 pages



Everything you need to easily get a handle on economic indicators

In today's volatile, often troubling economic landscape, there are myriad statistics and reports that paint an economic picture that can sometimes resemble a work by Jackson Pollock. These complex and often-conflicting reports could vex even the savviest investor. Economic Indicators For Dummies explains how to interpret and use key global economic indicators to make solid investments, aid in business planning, and help develop informed decisions. In plain English, it breaks down the complex language and statistics to help you make sense of this critical information.

You'll discover how to interpret economic data within the context of other sometimes-conflicting reports and statistics, and use the information to make profitable decisions. You'll understand the meaning of such data as employment indices and housing and construction stats and how they affect stocks, bonds, commodities and international markets . . . and how you can use these statistics to make investment decisions as well as plan strategic goals for business growth. Economic Indicators For Dummies breaks down dozens of statistics and patterns to give you a better understanding of how various sources of data and information can be used.

  • Breaks down jargon and statistical concepts
  • Covers how to use publicly available economic indicators to better position your portfolio, improve returns, and make sensible, long-range business plans
  • Discusses the reliability and timeliness of the collected data, while helping investors prioritize the flow of economic information to avoid information overload

Whether you're an investor, economics student, or business professional involved in making key strategic decisions for your company, Economic Indicators For Dummies has you covered.

Introduction 1

Part I: Figuring Out the Economy 7

Chapter 1: Introducing Economic Indicators 9

Chapter 2: Explaining Economic Jargon 21

Chapter 3: Understanding the Big Picture: The Economy and Its Footprints 45

Part II: Making Money, Spending Money: Employment and Consumer Indicators 65

Chapter 4: Counting Jobs and Unemployment 67

Chapter 5: Survey Says: Considering Consumer Sentiment, Confi dence, and Comfort 93

Chapter 6: Spreading the Wealth: Consumer Spending and the Economy 113

Part III: The Essence of Business: Product and Service Indicators 133

Chapter 7: GDP: The Whole Enchilada 135

Chapter 8: Following the Fed 161

Chapter 9: Profi ling Manufacturing: New Orders and Shipments 185

Chapter 10: Grappling with Economic Indexes 201

Chapter 11: Spending on Housing and Residential Construction 213

Part IV: Inflation, Productivity, Interest Rates, and Commodities: Oh My! 239

Chapter 12: Determining Infl ation's Economic Impact 241

Chapter 13: Taking a Closer Look at Productivity and Economic Growth 261

Chapter 14: Eyeing Business and Municipal Borrowing in the Bond Market 273

Chapter 15: Harvesting Commodity Data 289

Part V: International Intrigue: Indicators beyond the United States 309

Chapter 16: Trading with the United States 311

Chapter 17: Following Economies Worldwide 325

Chapter 18: Monitoring Emerging Economies 345

Part VI: The Part of Tens 353

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Track the U.S. Economy 355

Chapter 20: Ten (Or So) Money-Making Tips You Can Use with Economic Indicators 361

Glossary 367

Index 375