Glossary Terms:

Economic Indicators

Glossary terms from:
http://www.econedlink.org/e131


Business

Any activity or organization that produces or exchanges goods or services for a profit.

Business Cycles

Fluctuations in the overall rate of national economic activity with alternating periods of expansion and contraction; these vary in duration and degrees of severity; usually measured by real gross domestic product (GDP).

Capital

Resources and goods made and used to produce other goods and services. Examples include buildings, machinery, tools and equipment. In the context of credit transactions, capital is one of the Three Cs of Credit. It is an indicator of how creditworthy a prospective borrower is likely to be as determined by the borrower's current financial assets and net worth.

Coincident Indicators

Economic variables, such as payroll employment, industrial production, personal income, and manufacturing and trade sales, that tend to change at the same time that real output changes.

Debt

Money owed to someone else. Also the state or condition of owing money. Can be individual, corporate or government debt.

Federal Reserve

The central bank of the United States. Its main function is controlling the money supply through monetary policy. The Federal Reserve System divides the country into 12 districts, each with its own Federal Reserve bank. Each district bank is directed by its nine-person board of directors. The Board of Governors, which is made up of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to 14-year terms, directs the nation's monetary policy and the overall activities of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee is the official policy-making body; it is made up of the members of the Board of Governors and five of the district bank presidents.

Goods

Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.

Housing

Accommodation in houses, apartments, etc.

Income

Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.

Inflation

A rise in the general or average price level of all the goods and services produced in an economy. Can be caused by pressure from the demand side of the market (demand-pull inflation) or pressure from the supply side of the market (cost-push inflation).

Interest

Money paid regularly, at a particular rate, for the use of borrowed money.

Labor

The quantity and quality of human effort available to produce goods and services.

Lagging Indicators

Economic variables such as the prime interest rate, labor cost per unit of output, inventories to sales ratio and unemployment duration that tend to change after real output changes.

Leading Economic Indicators

Economic variables such as unemployment claims, manufacturers' new orders, stock prices, and new plant and equipment orders that tend to change before real output changes.

Money

Anything that is generally accepted as final payment for goods and services; serves as a medium of exchange, a store of value and a standard of value. Characteristics of money are portability, stability in value, uniformity, durability and acceptance.

National Debt

The total amount owed by the national government to those from whom it has borrowed to finance the accumulated difference between annual budget deficits and annual budget surpluses; also called public debt.

Product

A good or service that can be used to satisfy a want.

Saving

Disposable income (income after taxes) minus consumption spending.

Stock

An ownership share or shares of ownership in a corporation.

Supply

The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time.

Trade

The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.

Unemployment

The number of people without jobs who are actively seeking work.

Unemployment Rate

The number of unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the labor force.

Work

Effort applied to achieve a purpose or result, often for pay; skills and knowledge put to use to get something done; employment at a job or in a position; occupation, profession, business, trade, craft, etc.