Economic Indicators

Economic indicators are statistical data showing general trends in the economy. They allow analysis of economic performance and predictions of future performance.

Types of Indicators

  • Leading
  • Leading indicators are economic indicators which tend to change before the general economic activity, and so may sometimes be used as a predictor.


  • Stock prices
  • Average work hours in manufacturing sector
  • Housing Markets
  • Inflation
  • Interest rates


Coincident indicators are indicators which occur at the same time as the economic activity.



Personal income less transfer payments and overall change in GDP


Lagging indicators are trail behind the general economic activity. They can mainly and directly influence to the general economic activities.


  • Unemployment rate
  • Percentage change in CPI
  • GDP (sometimes)

Use of Economic Indicators

  • monitoring the growth rate of regional economies
  • monitoring the rate of growth of industrial sectors within the region
  • assessing relative contributions of industrial sectors to the regional economy
  • formulating and monitoring policies
  • preparing regional forecasts
  • monitoring the economic contribution of each region to the national economy covered by GST
  • Making inter-regional comparisons.

Below shown are some economic indicators commonly used by countries all over the world. More information regarding the economic indicators used in Sri Lanka can be found in the annexes section