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Level: Beginner

A wide variety of economic indicators are used to measure everything from economic growth to changes in prices to unemployment and much more. Key economic indicators have a direct impact on the markets. The information economic indicators provide can help investors make informed decisions about their investments. Some indicators include Consumer and Business Confidence, Housing Starts, Retail Sales, etc.

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The Retail Trade lesson discusses how it’s calculated, where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Measuring the dollars spent in the Australian economy is significant because consumption is the largest contributor of economic activity.

The Gross Domestic Product lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. GDP provides the fundamental underpinning for global financial markets. In an environment of economic growth, one can expect investment returns to be positive. It is impossible for financial asset values to rise indefinitely when GDP is in decline.

The Consumer Price Index lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Generally, consumers are forced to deal with constricted budgets, reduced buying capacity, and struggles planning when they're faced with inflation. To determine the speed and direction of price increases or declines, it is crucial to take the CPI into account when analyzing economic trends.

The Manufacturing-PMI lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. The manufacturing sector is capital intensive and requires the coordination of many moving parts of the economy. If one of the many contributors of the manufacturing sector appears weak, it’s likely a reflection of underlying weakness in the economy.

The Unemployment Rate lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. The unemployment rate is one of the oldest economic indicators available and useful in analyzing the relative ease or difficulty in finding a job.

The Building Approvals lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. As a capital- intensive industry with high interest rate sensitivity, real estate requires the coordination of many moving parts of the economy. An essential part of economic analysis involves tracking the capital-intensive and interest rate-sensitive real estate sector for signs of economic strength or weakness.

The Consumer Sentiment lesson discusses how it’s calculated, where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. Measuring the sentiment of consumers is important because they are a large source of company revenues and economic activity globally.

The Employment lesson discusses where to find it, how to forecast it, how it’s influenced, and how it influences financial markets and the economy. The speed at which employers are hiring staff acts as a key indicator of productivity and growth. Australia's employment growth plays a crucial role in determining the health of its economy and its financial markets.

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