Financial Markets Book Financial Markets For The Rest Of Us
An Easy Guide To Money, Bonds, Futures, Stocks, Options, And Mutual Funds
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by Robert Hashemian

Page 31

Other Economic Indicators

Other than the GDP there are a flurry of relevant economic data that are periodically reported by different government and private organizations, and of course by the Fed, throughout the year. Together all this data can paint a relatively accurate picture of the economy and possibly even suggest a direction for it. If one were to pay attention to all of these reports coming from all directions, he or she would soon be inundated by their volume. Also, many of these reports are inaccurate or are published by disreputable sources. Therefore we are left with the task of picking out those data coming from well known sources with a history of accurate and relevant reporting.

Fortunately, finding the data is not hard, since the media by and large reports on these data as they come out. But, trying to make sense of all these reports can be a daunting task. That's why we have analysts who can interpret these data individually and collectively give us a better idea on what they all mean. The Fed also factors in many of these indicators when it debates its Monetary Policy decisions. The following is a list of some these indicators reported by various sources. This is certainly not a complete nor a detailed list, but it covers the majority of sources, some of which you may have heard referred to by the media.

Unemployment And Non-Farm Payroll - Also referred to as jobless claims, this indicator is reported by the Department of Labor. The reason farm payroll is excluded is that farm related labor tends to be seasonal and therefore it can skew the data without really having a significant impact. New filings for unemployment benefits are tracked weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. A large and unexpected decrease in unemployment levels suggests a strengthening economy leading to inflation fears and prompting the Fed to raise interest rates. On the other hand, consistently rising unemployment levels could suggest a


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