Monday, August 17, 2009

Major Forex Indicators

Certain financial indicators have a history of moving the financial markets when the actual numbers don't match consensus. This article explain what some of the better financial indicators are and the ones traders should pay close attention to when trading the forex market.
APICS Survey - The APICS survey provides detailed information of the manufacturing sector. This survey is less well known than the ISM, but can also suggest trends in production. The diffusion index does not move in tandem with the ISM index each month, but sometimes the two do move in the same direction. Since manufacturing is a major sector of economy, investors can get a feel for the general economic backdrop for several investments. These surveys also play an important role in learning forex trading.
Business Inventories - The degree of inventories in relation to sales is an important signal of the near-term direction of production activity. Investors need to monitor the economy closely because it usually dictates how various types of investments will perform. Growing inventories can be an indication of business optimism that sales will be growing in the coming months. By looking at the proportion of inventories to sales, investors can see whether production demands will expand or contract in the near future. The business inventory data provide a valuable forward-looking tool for traversing the economy and it is greatly used while making forex trading strategies.
Chain Stores Sales - It is monthly sales volumes from department, chain, discount and apparel stores. Sales are reported by the individual retailers. Chain store sales are an indicator of retail sales and consumer spending results. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy, so if you know what consumers are up to, you will have a pretty good grip on where the economy is headed. Sales are reported as a change from the same month a year ago. It is significant to know how strong sales actually were a year ago to make sense of this year's sales. In addition, sales are normally reported for "comparable stores" in case of company mergers.
Construction Spending - Data are available in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) dollars. Because of their forex trading strategies, businesses only put money into construction of new factories or offices when they are sure that demand is strong enough to justify the expansion. The same goes for individuals making the investment in a home. That's why construction spending is a good indicator of the economy's momentum.
Consumer Confidence - It is study of consumer attitudes concerning both the present position as well as expectations regarding economic conditions conducted by The Conference Board. The level of consumer confidence is directly related to the intensity of consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy, so the markets are always dying to know what consumers are up to and how they might act in the near future. The more confident consumers are about the economy and their own personal finances, the more likely they are to spend. With this in mind, it's easy to see how this index of consumer attitudes gives insight to the way of the economy. Changes in consumer confidence and retail sales don't move in tandem month by month.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) - It is measure of the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. Monthly changes in the CPI represent the inflation rate. The CPI is the most followed indicator of inflation in the United States, some forex training institutes also keeps record of it for training purpose. Inflation is a general increase in the cost of goods and services. The relationship between inflation and interest rates is the key to understanding how data like the CPI influence the markets. By tracking the trends in inflation, whether high or low, ascending or descending, investors can anticipate how different types of investments will perform.
Current account - It is a measure of the country's international trade balance in goods, services and unilateral transfers. The level of the current account, as well as the trends in exports and imports, are followed as indicators of trends in foreign trade. U.S. trade with foreign countries hold significant clues to economic trends here and abroad. According to forex training experts this data can directly affect all the financial markets, and particularly the foreign exchange value of the dollar.

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