There are various economic activities that one can look at to try to identify where the economy is in the business cycle. An individual can also use these economic indicators as a way to try and predict the direction of the economy in the future. The 3 types of economic indicators are:

  • Leading indicators
  • Coincident indicators
  • Lagging indicators

Leading Indicators

Leading indicators are business conditions that change prior to a change in the overall economy. These indicators can be used as a gauge for the future direction of the economy. Leading indicators include:

  • Building permits
  • Stock market prices
  • Money supply (M2)
  • New orders for consumer goods
  • Average weekly initial claims in unemployment
  • Changes in raw material prices
  • Changes in consumer or business borrowing
  • Average work week for manufacturing
  • Changes in inventories of durable goods

Coincident Indicators

Changes in the economy cause an immediate change in the activity level of coincident indicators. As the business cycle changes, the level of activity in coincident indicators can confirm where the economy is. Coincident indicators include:

  • GDP
  • Industrial production
  • Personal income
  • Employment
  • Average number of hours worked
  • Manufacturing and trade sales
  • Non agricultural employment

Lagging Indicators

Lagging indicators will only change after the state of the economy has changed direction. Lagging indicators can be used to confirm the new direction of the economy. Lagging indicators include:

  • Average Duration of Unemployment
  • Corporate profits
  • Labor costs
  • Consumer debt levels
  • Commercial and industrial loans
  • Business loans


Economic Policy And The Federal Reserve

Related Articles
  1. Trading

    Trading Around Key Options Indicators

    Learn the key economic indicators to help predict market movement.
  2. Insights

    Introduction To Coincident And Lagging Economic Indicators

    Investors can learn a lot, or very little, from these indicators once they know how to use them.
  3. Trading

    4 Key Indicators That Move The Markets

    Find out what reports to watch in order to anticipate and react to market movements.
  4. Insights

    Explaining Economic Indicators

    Investors use economic indicators to gauge investment opportunities and judge the overall health of an economy.
  5. Trading

    The Fundamentals Of Forex Fundamentals

    Charting is not the only way to analyze the foreign-exchange market. Learn how to apply fundamental analysis to the economic indicators.
  6. Trading

    Using Technical Indicators To Develop Trading Strategies

    Unfortunately, there is no perfect investment strategy that will guarantee success, but you can find the indicators and strategies that will work best for your position.
  7. Investing

    How to Use Trading Indicators Effectively

    Careful and effective use of technical indicators can improve your odds of finding an investment’s best entry and exit points.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The concept of CAGR is relatively straightforward and requires only three primary inputs: an investments beginning value, ...
  2. How do you calculate return on equity (ROE)?

    Return on equity (ROE) is a ratio that provides investors with insight into how efficiently a company (or more specifically, ...
  3. What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?

    Learn how some countries are incorporating socialist methods into capitalism.
  4. What's the difference between a stop and a limit order?

    A limit order is an order that sets the maximum or minimum at which you are willing to buy or sell a particular stock. With ...
Trading Center