Making sense of economic data

Are you confused about economic data reports? Have no idea what they mean? Then Dr. Kris is here to rescue you.

In my inbox today I received a link to a slideshow that describes in simple language ten of the most widely watched economic indicators:

Jobless claims
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Non-farm payroll
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Beige Book
Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
Durable Goods Orders
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Retail Sales Index
Housing Starts

How to meld these data with your stock portfolio (if you’re a long-term investor) is another question, but one you should be asking either of yourself or your money manager.

Maybe not now, but sometime in the future you might want to acquaint yourself with the inflationary indicators like the CPI. The Federal Reserve has this info on its website along with other FAQ’s.

You might find the site very interesting, especially the Consumer Credit page.

As an aside, most people don’t know that the Federal Reserve Board (of which the past and present Fed chairmen have held the weight of the world in the palm of their hands) is not a government institution nor has it ever been. It is a privately held company that, in the words of Louis McFadden, the Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s said:

“Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.”

If you don’t believe him, do a search on the Federal Reserve. Not that I, Dr. Kris, has an opinion one way or another. A-hem…

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