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An economic indicator (or business indicator) is a statistic about the
economy. Economic indicators allow analysis of economic performance and
predictions of future performance.
Economic indicators include various indices, earnings reports, and economic
summaries, such as unemployment, housing starts, Consumer Price Index (a
measure for inflation), industrial production, bankruptcies, Gross Domestic
Product, retail sales, stock market prices, and money supply changes.
A leading economic indicator is an economic indicator which tends to change
before and in the same direction as the general economic activity, whereas a
lagging economic indicator tails behind.