The Indicator Glut : Planet Money The number of "important" economic indicators released every month has skyrocketed. But do we know any more about the economy?
NPR logo The Indicator Glut

The Indicator Glut

Here's a meta-indicator, courtesy of Cleve Rueckert of Birinyi Associates: the number of "important" economic indicators released every month (and every day).

economic indicators
Birinyi Associates

The meta-indicator is way up over the past several years. So now we know way more about the economy, right?

On a daily basis we are bombarded by an average of five indicators, many of which are overlapping or redundant and frequently contradictory. There are no fewer than three distinct consumer confidence measures; at least ten tell us about housing; six measures of employment; and many gauges of economic growth ...


The quote above is from the note Rueckert sent out with the graph. I talked to him on the phone today, and he said that a trading calendar created in December 1975 had exactly four indicators for the entire month: Unemployment, inflation, GNP and the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee.

Hat Tip: FT Alphaville