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 Economic Indicator is any economic statistic, for instance GDP, inflation rate or the unemployment rate that points toward how well the economy is doing and how well the economy is going to do in the future.

Business and investors use this information to make decisions, or change their strategies if a set of economic indicators suggest that the economy is going to do better or worse in the future than previously expected.

It is important to understand the ways in which economic indicators differ because there are three major attributes that each economic indicator has.

Relation to the Business Cycle / Economy Procyclic Economic Indicator (such as the GDP), is one that moves in the same direction as the economy. If the economy is doing well, this number is increasing, and if the economy is not doing well this indicator is decreasing.

Countercyclic Economic Indicator (such as the unemployment rate) is one that moves in the opposite direction as the economy. If the economy is doing well the unemployment rate gets smaller and if the economy is not doing well, this indicator gets larger.

Acyclic Economic Indicator is one that has no relation to the health of the economy and is generally of little use.

Data Frequency
GDP figures are released quarterly in most countries and the unemployment rate is released monthly. Some economic indicators, such as the Dow Jones Index, are available immediately and change every minute.

Business Cycle Timing
Economic Indicators can be Leading, Lagging, or Coincident which indicates the timing of their changes relative to how the economy as a whole changes.

Leading Economic Indicators are indicators which change before the economy changes. Leading economic indicators are the most important type for investors as they help predict what the economy will be like in the future.

Lagging Economic Indicator are indicators that do not change direction until a few quarters after the economy does.
Coincident Economic Indicators are indicators that simply move at the same time the economy does.

There are 2 dimensions of Economic Indicators in terms of coverage that e-forecasting offers: Geographic (GEO) and Industrial.

Geographic (GEO) Economic Indicators
e-forecasting offers GEO Economic Indicators for: a Country , a State , a Province, a County, a City , a group of Countries, and Global Economic Indicators

Industrial Economic Indicators
e-forecasting offers Industrial Economic Indicators of the major industries such as: Manufacturing, Mining, Services, Construction, Semiconductor Industry to more specific levels such as: Auto Industry, Construction, Oil Extraction, Hotels, Restaurants, Medical and more

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