Economics Subject Guide

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John Tombarge
Contact:
540-458-8134
Office: M43 Leyburn Library (located in the back corner of the main level on the Elrod Commons side of the building)

About Economic Indicators

U.S. Business Cycle Indicators

The Conference Board publishes the U.S. Business Cycle Indicators as well as those of several other countries.  The purpose of the page is to help you explore the data used to calculate the Leading Economic Index and related composite economic indexes to get a better understanding of where that data comes from.  If you want to see the component indicators, or get historical data, use the Bloomberg terminal in Leyburn. 

While the Conference Board publishes the indicators most often used to track the business cycle, it is the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research that determines the beginning and end of each business cycle

Leading Indicators

Leading indicators usually change before the economy as a whole. The Conference Board publishes a monthly news release on U.S. Business Cycle Indicators, which contains the Leading Economic Index and related composite economic indexes.  The Leading Economic Index consists of the following ten indicators.

Lagging Indicators

The trend in lagging indicators usually changes after the economy as a whole. The Conference Board publishes a monthly news release on U.S. Business Cycle Indicators, which contains the Lagging Economic Index and related composite economic indexes.  The Lagging Economic Index consists of the following seven indicators. 

Coincident Indicators

Coincident indicators usually change with the economy as a whole. The Conference Board publishes a monthly news release on U.S. Business Cycle Indicators, which contains the Index of Coincident Economic Indicators and related composite economic indexes.  The Index of Coincident Economic Indicators consists of the following four indicators.

Bloomberg Terminal

The Bloomberg terminal, which is located outside of M32, provides access to the widest range of economic data available to us.  It is strictly limited to W&L users, and the account is limited in exporting the data.  However, if you are having trouble finding the data you need, Bloomberg may have it.  The login information is available at the Information Desk. 

  • To locate the Leading Economic Index, log in and enter the function LEAD.  
  • Under "Major OECD Economies," select "United States (Conf Board)"
  • The resulting screen will have several parts,
    • for historical data, select "2) Historical Chart" and page down to see the historical data.
    • for the component indicators, select "4) Related Tickers" then on the name of each component indicator, hold the left mouse button down on name, and select "DES - Description" on the popup menu.

Need Help?

Contact John Tombarge

Office: M43 Leyburn Library (located in the back corner of the main level on the Elrod Commons side of the building)

telephone: (540) 458-8134