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Economic Indicators

Posted: Feb 10, 2012

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Definitions Up Arrow

Business Cycles The recurring expansions and contractions of the national economy (usually measured by real gross domestic product.) A complete cycle lasts from three to five years. [2]

Coincident Indicators Coincident economic indicators tend to reach their peaks and troughs AT THE SAME TIME as business cycles. [2]

Economic Indicators Numerous economic statistics that provide valuable information about the expansions and contractions of business cycles. These economic statistics are grouped into three sets -- lagging, coincident, and leading. [3]

Forecasting Process of making predictions about future general economic and market conditions as a basis for making decisions in government and business. [5]

Lagging Indicators Lagging economic indicators tend to rise or fall a few months AFTER business-cycle expansions and contractions. [2]

Leading Indicators Leading economic indicators tend to move up or down a few months BEFORE business-cycle expansions and contractions. [2]

Time Series Any statistical information recorded over successive time periods. [5]

Time Series Analysis Analysis of past statistical data, recorded at successive time intervals, with a view to projecting this experience of the past to predict what will happen in the uncertain future. [5]

Trend A long-term growth path of an economic variable, around which there may be short-term fluctation. [6]

Guides Up Arrow

Dictionary of U.S. Government Statistical Terms. 1991 REF HA17 .D52x (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

Finding and Using Economic Information. REF HC106 J63 1993 (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

Guide to Economic Indicators. REF HC103 .F9 2003 (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

The Handbook of Key Economic Indicators. REF HC 103 R64 1998 (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

Handbook of United States Economic and Financial Indicators REF HC106.8 .O47 2000 (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

Calendar Up Arrow

Economic Calendar (Yahoo) This list, maintained by Yahoo, provides the government and commercial indicators on the day of their release. It also offers links to definitions and some historical data.

Calendar of Economic Indicator Releases (Census Economic Briefing Room, US Census Bureau)

Release Dates for Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Indicators

Compilations Up Arrow

Beige Book: 2010 (Federal Reserve) 1970 -

Economic Indicators:Main Page(GPO Access) 1995 -

Economic Indicators.Gov


Economic Indicators By the Numbers (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Census Economic Briefing Room (US Census Bureau) Links to economic indicator publications as well a calendar of economic indicator releases.

Statistical Abstract of the United States.

Economic Statistics Briefing Room (White House) Provides convenient access to very current U.S. Federal economic indicators.

Overview of the U.S. Economy (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Survey of Current Business

FRASER: Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research. Compilation of historical data sources on banking and the Federal Reserve.

Economagic. A private site offering over 100,000 economic time series data.

Time Series Up Arrow

Economagic. A private site offering over 100,000 economic time series data.

Additional Sources Up Arrow

Economic Time Series Page Provides data and charts for over 75,000 series.

Energy Information Administration Provides data on energy users, finance, and prices as well as historical and state data, as well as a "quick stats" section.

Standard & Poor's Statistical Service. Basic REF HG4915 .S67A (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

Standard & Poor's. Security Price Index Record Ref. Desk HG 4915 S67B (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

Standard & Poor's Statistical Service: Current Statistics Ref. Desk HG 4915 S68A (Main Floor, Folsom Library)

FRASER: Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research. Compilation of historical data sources on banking and the Federal Reserve.

Budget of US Government (Office of Management and Budget)Business Conditions Digest

Economic Report of the President (Council of Economic Advisors)

Monthly Labor Review.

Monthly Energy Review (Energy Information Administration) Monthly Labor Review (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Latest issue on the Internet.

Survey of Current Business (Bureau of Economic Analysis)


  1. Handbook of Business Information: A guide for Librarians, Students, and Researchers by Diane Wheeler Strauss. Libraries Unlimited, 1988.
  2. Finding & Using Economic Information: A Guide to Sources and Interpretation by David B. Johnson. Bristlecone Books, 1993.
  3. The Harper Collins Dictionary of Economics. Harper Collins, 1991.
  4. A Dictionary of Economics by John Black. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Colette Holmes, Management Librarian, Rensselaer Libraries, Troy, NY

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