Basic terms

There are 43 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
ADP Non-Farm Employment Change
ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: A report that measures levels of non-farm private employment. The ADP National Employment Report is based on payroll data from over half of ADP's U.S. business clients. The data represents about 24 million employees from all 19 of the major North American Industrial Classification (NAICS) private industrial sectors.
ANZ Job Advertisements
Change in the number of jobs advertised in the major daily newspapers and websites covering the capital cities. This data tends to have more impact when it's released ahead of the government employment data rather than after.
BBA Mortgage Approvals

The number of mortgage or home loans collectively approved by members of the British Bankers Association (BBA). This figure is published monthly by the BBA, and is considered to be an important leading indicator about the state of the housing market in the United Kingdom. A rising number of mortgage approvals would usually indicate a growing or healthy housing market, while a decline in the number of mortgage approvals would imply that the housing market is sluggish.

Building Permits
A type of authorization that must be granted by a government or other regulatory body before the construction of a new or existing building can legally occur. The U.S. census bureau reports the finalized number of the total monthly building permits on the 18th work day of every month.
CB Leading Index

It one of the key elements in the Conference Board's analytic system, which is designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle. Since it is an average, the leading index smooths out some of the volatility of individual components, thereby revealing turning points in the economic data more convincingly than any individual component. Generally known as the leading economic index (LEI). Components of the CB leading index include average weekly manufacturing hours, average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance, manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and non-defense capital goods, building permits and stock prices.

Central Bank

Central banks play a key role in the currency markets because of their power over monetary policy. They have a direct influence over money supply, which in turn affects demand and price of the currency. Through the use of different policies, central banks can try to manipulate the markets so that they can keep their currency at specific levels. Some countries and their central banks try to peg their currency to that of another currency or basket of currencies (for example, China to the U.S.).
The central bank can participate in the forex market by buying and selling their currency at the spot market in order to keep it from changing too much. Another motivation for central banks is to keep the local currency at a specific price in order to make their local economy more attractive for international trade. If a country’s currency appreciates too quickly, it could actually make it less appealing to importers.
Remember that many transactions have to use the local currency. Thus, if currency that is needed rises too quickly, it effectively makes goods more expensive to foreigners, which in turn, hurts trade. To counter this, the central bank may intervene in the market by selling its currency and buying up other major currencies. This in effect, weakens the local currency so as to make it more appealing to foreign importers.
While the exact value of what percentage such central bank transactions take up isn’t known, take note that because these are the banks of national governments, such interventions can have a much larger impact on the market than any single commercial bank.

CPI – (Consumer price index)

A measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food and medical care. The CPI is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them; the goods are weighted according to their importance. Changes in CPI are used to assess price changes associated with the cost of living.

Current account

Current account: The difference between a nation’s savings and its investment. The current account is an important indicator about an economy's health. It is defined as the sum of the balance of trade (goods and services exports less imports), net income from abroad and net current transfers. A positive current account balance indicates that the nation is a net lender to the rest of the world, while a negative current account balance indicates that it is a net borrower from the rest of the world. A current account surplus increases a nation’s net foreign assets by the amount of the surplus, and a current account deficit decreases it by that amount. The current account and the capital account are the two main components of a nation’s balance of payments.

Daily Chart

A graph that shows the past price movement of a security in which each bar or candlestick represents a day's worth of data.

Durable Goods Orders

An economic indicator released monthly by the Bureau of Census that reflects new orders placed with domestic manufacturers for delivery of factory hard goods (durable goods) in the near term or future. Durable goods orders come in two releases per month: the advance report on durable goods and the manufacturers' shipments, inventories and orders.

Economic indicator

A statistic that indicates current growth and stability issued by a government.

Empire State Manufaturing Index

Empire State Manufaturing Index: The index is based on survey responses to a questionnaire sent out on the first day of each month to an unchanged pool of about 200 top manufacturing executives, generally the president or CEO. The questionnaire seeks their opinion on the change in a number of business indicators from the previous month, and also the likely direction of these indicators six months into the future. Also known as the Empire State Manufacturing Index.

Existing Home Sales

An economic indicator of both the number and prices of existing single-family homes, condos and co-op sales over a one-month period. The existing home sales report is released monthly by the U.S. National Association of Realtors. It is a lagging indicator as it tends to react after a change in mortgage rates.

Federal Open Market Committee

The branch of the Federal Reserve Board that determines the direction of monetary policy. The FOMC is composed of the board of governors, which has seven members, and five reserve bank presidents. The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York serves continuously, while the presidents of the other reserve banks rotate their service of one-year terms. The FOMC meets eight times per year to set key interest rates, such as the discount rate, and to decide whether to increase or decrease the money supply, which the Fed does by buying and selling government securities. For example, to tighten the money supply, or decrease the amount of money available in the banking system, the Fed sells government securities.

GfK Consumer Climate

Survey of about 2,000 consumers which asks respondents to rate the relative level of past and future economic conditions, including personal financial situation, climate for major purchases, and overall economic situation.

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