Follow the right economic road signs to good business decisions

November 19, 2010

To make informed business or investing decisions, it's imperative to have a good feel for where the economy is heading.

Key Points

Although few people besides economists have the time to review all the available data, these 7 economic indicators can help narrow your focus while providing a reliable picture of what is occurring in the economy:

Wage changes indicate earnings trends, related labor costs, and changes in disposable income. Economists focus on the monthly change in total nonfarm payrolls and in which industries jobs were gained or lost. Payroll data show the state of the labor market, which is important because a tight labor market can result in wage inflation, often a precursor of overall inflation ( http://www.bls.gov/ces).

No one can predict the future of the economy with complete certainty, but these indicators provide a good snapshot of the current state of the economy and are useful clues as to what lies ahead.

The author is managing partner of Grey Oak Wealth Management, Greensboro, North Carolina. The ideas expressed in this column are his alone and do not represent the views of Medical Economics. If you have a comment or a topic you would like to see covered here, please e-mail medec@advanstar.com