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Secrets of Economic Indicators, The: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and Investment Opportunities

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Secrets of Economic Indicators, The: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and Investment Opportunities

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Baumohl makes what you expect to be a boring topic an interesting, entertaining and informative read.

  • From an award-winning journalist and former TIME Magazine chief economics reporter.
  • How key indicators impact interest rates, bond prices, stock prices, the value of the dollar.
  • Unemployment, inflation, consumer confidence, retail sales, and beyond... which indicators really matter, and what do they predict?


  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-145501-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-145501-6

Every day, stocks, bonds, and currencies bounce wildly in response to new economic indicators. Money managers obsess over those statistics, because they provide crucial clues about the future of the economy and the financial markets.

Now you can use these indicators to make smarter investment decisions, just like the professionals do.You don't need an economics degree, or a CPA... just this easy-to-use book.

Former TIME Magazine senior economics reporter Bernard Baumohl has done the impossible: he's made economic indicators fascinating.

Using real-world examples and stories,Baumohl illuminates every U.S. and foreign indicator that matters.Where to find them.What they look like. What the insiders know about their track records. And exactly how to interpret them.

Whether you're an investor,broker, portfolio manager, researcher, journalist,or student, you'll find this book indispensable.Nobody can predict the future with certainty. But The Secrets of Economic Indicators will get you as close as humanly possible.

What the numbers really mean...

...to stocks, bonds, rates, currencies, and you

Ahead of the curve: spotting turning points

Calling recessions and recoveries in time to profit from them

Leading indicators: where's the economy really heading

Decoding initial unemployment claims, housing starts, the yield curve, and other predictors

Beyond the borders

Why foreign indicators are increasingly important—and how to use them

Making sense of indicators in conflict

What to do when the numbers disagree

Finding the data

Free web resources for the latest economic data


"This is the most up-to-date guide to economic indicators and their importance to financial markets in print. For anyone trying to follow the economic data, this should be next to your computer so that you can understand and find the data on the Internet."

David Wyss, Chief Economist, Standard and Poor's

"I find Baumohl's writing fascinating. Just about anyone who's serious about understanding which way the economy is headed will want to read this book. It could be a classic."

Harry Domash, Columnist for MSN Money and Publisher, Winning Investing Newsletter

"Every business person or investor should keep a copy of Baumohl's book close-at-hand. It is great, at long last, to have someone who has eliminated what may have been so perplexing to so many and to have done so with such remarkable clarity."

Hugh Johnson, Chief Investment Officer, First Albany

"Bernie Baumohl has written a "must read" educational and reference book that every individual investor will find indispensable for watching, monitoring, and interpreting the markets."

Allen Sinai, President and Chief Global Economist, Decision Economics, Inc.

"Baumohl has a gift for taking a complicated subject and allowing it to read like a fast-moving novel. I recommend this book if you care about your future finances."

Morris E. Lasky, CEO, Lodging Unlimited, Inc.—manager and consultant for $6 billion in hotel assets; Chairman, Lodging Conference; Chairman, International Hotel Conference

"I think this is an excellent book. It's well written, accessible to a variety of readers, deals with an interesting and important subject, and covers the topic well. It deserves to get a lot of notice and use."

D. Quinn Mills, Alfred J. Weatherhead Jr.,

Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

The fascinating, plain-English guide to economic indicators: what they mean, and how to use them.

Unemployment. Inflation. Consumer confidence. Retail sales... Every morning brings new economic statistics.

  • Which economic indicators really matter?
  • What do they mean for stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies...your portfolio?
  • How can you use them to make faster, smarter investment decisions?
  • Simple, clear, non-technical, friendly, usable...the only book of its kind!
  • By former renowned TIME Magazine economics journalist Bernard Baumohl.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

A Beginner's Guide: Understanding the Lingo

Economic Talking Points --- Outlook for 2006

Secrets of Economic Indicators: The Lock-Up

The Lock-Up

Understanding the Lingo of Economic Indicators

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Sample Pages

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Table of Contents



1. The Lock-Up. 

    U.S. Economic Indicators. 

    International Economic Indicators. 

2. A Beginner’s Guide: Understanding the Lingo. 


    Annual Rates. 

    Business Cycle. 

    Consensus Surveys.

    Moving Average. 

    Nominal Dollars Versus Real Dollars (Also Known as Current Dollars Versus Constant Dollars). 

    Revisions and Benchmarks.

    Seasonal Adjustments. 

3. The Most Influential U.S. Economic Indicators. 


      Employment Situation. 

      Weekly Claims for Unemployment Insurance. 

      Help-Wanted Advertising Index. 

      Corporate Layoff Announcements. 

      Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS). 

    Consumer Spending and Confidence.

      Personal Income and Spending. 

      Retail Sales. 

      E-Commerce Retail Sales. 

      Weekly Chain Store Sales. 

      Consumer Credit Outstanding. 

      Cambridge Consumer Credit Index. 

      Consumer Confidence Index (Conference Board).

      Survey of Consumer Sentiment (University of Michigan). 

      ABC News/Money Magazine Consumer Comfort Index.

      UBS Index of Investor Optimism. 

    National Output and Inventories.

      Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

      Durable Goods Orders. 

      Factory Orders. 

      Business Inventories. 

      Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization. 

      Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Survey.

      Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey. 

      Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (Business Barometer).

      Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). 

    Housing and Construction.

      Housing Starts and Building Permits. 

      Existing Home Sales. 

      New Home Sales. 

      Housing Market Index: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). 

      Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey and the National Delinquency Survey. 

      Construction Spending.

    Regional Federal Reserve Bank Surveys.

      Regional Federal Reserve Bank Reports. 

      Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Empire State Manufacturing Survey. 

      Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: Business Outlook Survey. 

      Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City: Manufacturing Survey of the 10th District. 

      Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond: Manufacturing Activity for the Fifth District. 

      Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago: National Activity Index (CFNAI). 

      The Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book.

    Foreign Trade.

      International Trade in Goods and Services. 

      Current Account Balance (Summary of International Transactions).

    Prices, Productivity, and Wages.

      Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

      Producer Price Index (PPI). 

      Employment Cost Index.

      Import and Export Prices. 

      Productivity and Costs. 

      Employer Costs for Employee Compensation. 

      Real Earnings. 

      Yield Curve. 

4. International Economic Indicators: Why Are They So Important? 

    German Industrial Production.

    German IFO Business Survey. 

    German Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Japan’s Tankan Survey. 

    Japan Industrial Production.  

    France Monthly Business Survey (INSEE). 

    Eurozone–Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). 

    Global–Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index. 

    OECD Composite Leading Indicators (CLI). 

    China Industrial Production. 

    Brazil Industrial Production. 

5. Best Web Sites for U.S. Economic Indicators.

    Schedule of Releases. 

    Economic News. 

    The U.S. Economy. 

    Consumer Behavior. 

    Employment Conditions. 

    Home Sales and Construction Activity.

    International Trade. 

    Inflation Pressures. 

    Federal Reserve Surveys. 

    The Federal Budget. 

    Interest Rates. 

    Money and Credit. 

    U.S. Dollar. 

    One-Stop Shopping for Economic Statistics. 

    Other Useful Sources on the Web. 

6. Best Web Sites for International Economic Indicators. 

    Calendar of Releases for Foreign Economic Data. 

    Sources of Global Economic News. 

    Economic Statistics from Other Countries. 

    Best Megasites for International Economic Statistics. 



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