We have created a comprehensive glossary of economic indicators from the relevant markets. While these indicators are generally applicable economic terms, some of them are specific for the country of their release.
To see a definition of a term, click the box below or definition, and the definition will appear underneath.
The number of cars sold during a particular ten-day period. The timeliness of this indicator (released three days after the 10-day period) makes this the most current piece of US economic data. The size of the item in question and the timeliness of the release allow auto sales to be a useful leading indicator of retail sales and personal consumption expenditures data.
Complete summary of a nation's economic transactions and the rest of the world including merchandise, services, financial assets and tourism. The balance of payments is separated into two main accounts: the current account and the capital account.
· Balance of Trade (Merchandise Trade Balance)
The difference between a nation's exports and imports of merchandise. A positive balance of trade, or a surplus, occurs when a county's exports exceed its imports. A negative balance of trade, or a deficit, occurs when imports surpass exports. Rising exports add to GDP while falling imports are subtracted from it. The US merchandise trade balance has been in a deficit since the mid-1970s. Rising deficits can be reflective of increased consumption, which can be a sign of a strengthening economy.
· Beige Book Fed Survey
Officially known as the Survey on Current Economic Conditions, the Beige Book, is published eight times per year by a Federal Reserve Bank, containing anecdotal information on current economic and business conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors, and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book highlights the activity information by District and sector. The survey normally covers a period of about 4-weeks in duration, and is released two weeks prior to each FOMC meeting, which is also held eight times per year. While being deemed by some as a lagging report, the Beige Book has usually served as a helpful indicator to FOMC policy decisions on monetary policy.