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Economic Indicators For Dummies


Your plain-English guide to making sense of economic indicators

In today's economic landscape, countless statistics and reports paint a picture that can resemble a work by Jackson Pollock. These complex and often-conflicting reports could vex even the savviest investor. Economic Indicators For Dummies shows you how to interpret this critical information to make solid investments, aid in business planning, and help develop informed decisions.

  • Economic Indicators 101 — get a refresher on the terminology you'll encounter in this book as well as plain-English explanations of common economic jargon

  • Spread the wealth — understand how consumer spending is the driving force behind an economy, where consumer dollars go, and who has money to spend

  • Large and in charge — discover how tracking the largest economic sectors — healthcare, automobile manufacturing, and housing — is an excellent way to determine the economy's current health

  • Fight inflation — find out how to monitor the economy for signs of inflation, rising employee compensation costs, and falling productivity

  • Look globally — decipher important international indicators if you're considering investing in overseas markets

Open the book and find:

  • The analytical concepts you need to understand

  • A quick review of stocks, bonds, and other investment markets

  • How unemployment makes an impact on investment markets

  • What you need to know about the GDP Report

  • Ways you can make sense of the Federal Reserve's economic surveys and forecasts

  • Worldwide economic indicators to watch

  • A glossary that defines key terms

Learn to:

  • Understand how indicators affect stocks, bonds, commodities, and international markets

  • Use various reports to make investment decisions

  • Plan strategic goals for business growth

Michael Griffis, MBA, has been an active trader for more than two decades. He has written about stock trading for online audiences, and today writes about investing and marketing for clients in the banking and brokerage industries.
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