Main Macroeconomic Indicators

Macroeconomic indicators are statistics that indicate the current status of the economy of a state depending on a particular area of the economy (industry, labor market, trade, etc.). They are published regularly at a certain time by governmental agencies and the private sector.

Markets.com provides an Economic Calendar for the dates of critical fundamental announcements and events. When properly used, these indicators can be an invaluable resource for any Forex trader.

In truth, these statistics help Forex traders monitor the economy's pulse; thus it is not surprising that these are religiously followed by almost everyone in the financial markets. After publication of these indicators we can observe volatility of the market. The degree of volatility is determined depending on the importance of an indicator. That is why it is important to understand which indicator is important and what it represents.

  • Interest Rates Announcement

    Interest rates play the most important role in moving the prices of currencies in the foreign exchange market. As the institutions that set interest rates, central banks are therefore the most influential actors. Interest rates dictate flows of investment. Since currencies are the representations of a country’s economy, differences in interest rates affect the relative worth of currencies in relation to one another. When central banks change interest rates they cause the forex market to experience movement and volatility. In the realm of Forex trading, accurate speculation of central banks’ actions can enhance the trader's chances for a successful trade.

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    The GDP is the broadest measure of a country's economy, and it represents the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country during a given year. Since the GDP figure itself is often considered a lagging indicator, most traders focus on the two reports that are issued in the months before the final GDP figures: the advance report and the preliminary report. Significant revisions between these reports can cause considerable volatility.

  • Consumer Price Index

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is probably the most crucial indicator of inflation. It represents changes in the level of retail prices for the basic consumer basket. Inflation is tied directly to the purchasing power of a currency within its borders and affects its standing on the international markets. If the economy develops in normal conditions, the increase in CPI can lead to an increase in basic interest rates. This, in turn, leads to an increase in the attractiveness of a currency.

  • Employment Indicators

    Employment indicators reflect the overall health of an economy or business cycle. In order to understand how an economy is functioning, it is important to know how many jobs are being created or destructed, what percentage of the work force is actively working, and how many new people are claiming unemployment. For inflation measurement, it is also important to monitor the speed at which wages are growing.

  • Retail Sales

    The retail sales indicator is released on a monthly basis and is important to the foreign exchange trader because it shows the overall strength of consumer spending and the success of retail stores. The report is particularly useful because it is a timely indicator of broad consumer spending patterns that is adjusted for seasonal variables. It can be used to predict the performance of more important lagging indicators, and to assess the immediate direction of an economy.

  • Balance of Payments

    The Balance of Payments represents the ratio between the amount of payments received from abroad and the amount of payments going abroad. In other words, it shows the total foreign trade operations, trade balance, and balance between export and import, transfer payments. If coming payment exceeds payments to other countries and international organizations the balance of payments is positive. The surplus is a favorable factor for growth of the national currency.

  • Government Fiscal and Monetary policy

    Stabilization of the economy (e.g., full employment, control of inflation, and an equitable balance of payments) is one of the goals that governments attempt to achieve through manipulation of fiscal and monetary policies. Fiscal policy relates to taxes and expenditures, monetary policy to financial markets and the supply of credit, money, and other financial assets.

Conclusion: There are many economic indicators, and even more private reports that can be used to evaluate the fundamentals of forex. It's important to take the time to not only look at the numbers, but also understand what they mean and how they affect a nation's economy.

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