Gross Domestic Product

Components of GDP Percent Change

August 26, 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 …

Durable Goods Orders

Durable Goods Orders

August 25, 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 …

Existing Home Sales

Existing Home Sales

August 24, 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 …

New Home Sales

New Home Sales

August 23, 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 …

Consumer Price Index

August 16, 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, …

Housing Starts

Housing Starts

August 16, 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

August 12, 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 …

Imports and Exports

Imports and Exports

August 11, 2016 – Import and export prices are an inflationary gauge for us to track that tells us whether prices are increasing or decreasing.  Import prices tell us the cost of products that are produced abroad and purchased in the U.S., while exports are goods produced in the U.S. but purchased abroad.  Increasing import prices signal inflationary trends in …

Change in Nonfarm Payrolls

Change in Nonfarm Payrolls

August 5, 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 Nonmanufacturing Index

ISM Nonmanufacturing Index

August 4, 2016 – The ISM Nonmanufacturing Index helps us in determining overall conditions in the services sector.  When breaking down the services sector, there are many different components we evaluate, namely employment, business activity, new orders, and supplier deliveries.  The nonmanufacturing sector represents a much larger share of the overall economy when compared to the manufacturing sector, making up …