A question from Yahoo! Answers:
What are some leading economic indicators? i know alcoa, gm, ford, merck… anything else?
Leading indicators have nothing to do with ALCOA, GM, Ford, and Merck. There are ten leading indicators:
- Average weekly hours worked in manufacturing
- Average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance
- Manufacturers’ new orders for consumer goods and materials
- Vendor performance
- Manufacturers’ new orders for non-defense capital goods
- Building permits for new private housing units
- Stock prices (S&P 500 index)
- Money supply (M2)
- Interest rate spread (10-year Treasury bonds less federal funds)
- Index of consumer expectations
When put together and properly weighed, these indicators form an index that is capable of predicting recessions (although it does ring a false alarm every now and then).
Index of leading indicators (along with index of coincident indicators and index of lagging indicators) is published monthly by Conference Board.