GDP Percent Change

Components of GDP % Change

July 29, 2016 – GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is the broadest and most well-known measure of economic activity within a country.  It is the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country over a certain time frame.  When totaling GDP, there are four components we look at:  investment, consumption, government spending, and net exports.  From an …

Durable Goods Orders

July 27, 2016 – Durable goods orders, which are orders to buy products that are expected to last at least 3 years, is an indicator giving us an idea as to how busy factories will be in the near future.  The higher the amount of orders, the more manufacturers work to fill those orders.  As the name suggests, durable orders …

New Home Sales

New Home Sales

July 26, 2016 – New single-family home sales represent the number of brand new houses that were purchased or committed to being purchased over the course of a month.  This indicator provides insight into the demand for housing which has a significant impact on GDP and the overall economy.  New home sales require a house to actually be built, causing …

Existing Home Sales

Existing Home Sales

July 21, 2016 – Existing home sales give us the number of purchases made for homes, condominiums, and co-ops that have already been built.  Existing home sales provide us an indication as to the strength of demand for housing.  An increase in homes sold means people are feeling more confident in their financial situation.  While home resales may not generate …

Housing Starts

Housing Starts

July 19, 2016 – Housing starts track the number of new residential construction projects underway over the course of a month. A rise in demand for construction of new homes means a rise in demand for construction spending and construction jobs. While it may be seasonal, an increase in construction jobs means more wages being paid and more income to …

Retail Sales

Retail Sales

July 15, 2016 – Retail sales are the total amount of merchandise and related services sold to consumers. It is considered a sign of the strength of consumer spending. Consumer spending is a large component of the overall economy (accounting for more than two-thirds of the economy), and thus higher spending (as seen in measures such as retail sales) indicates …

Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index

July 15, 2016 – The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, tells us of any inflationary pressures in the economy. The CPI measures average price levels of a basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. The index starts with a base time period (1982-1984, currently) and shows the overall increase since that time. Interest rates are directly impacted by inflation, …

Change in Nonfarm Payrolls

Change in Nonfarm Payrolls

July 8, 2016 – The employment situation gives us the most comprehensive look at the labor market in the U.S. as we are able to track new jobs, additions or subtractions from the labor force, and the unemployment rate. An increasing workforce keeps the economy moving forward with more people employed and being paid a wage, which leads to an …

ISM Manufacturing Index

ISM Manufacturing Index

July 1, 2016 – The ISM Manufacturing Index gives us clues as to the strength of the factory sector and manufacturing activity in the U.S. by looking at factors such as orders for durable goods, industrial production and hiring.  A reading above 50 is an indicator that the manufacturing sector is growing, reflecting an increase in demand and an increase …