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Economic Indicators

The following charts and graphs represent various economic indicators from different sectors and locations across the country. These charts are broken down into six categories: Business & The Economy; Population & Employment; Surveys & Sentiments; Commercial Real Estate; Residential Real Estate; and Stocks & Bond Marks.  Hover over each chart to explore interactive data.

---Business & The Economy---

National Retail Trade Report


Notes: The National Retail Trade Report tracks retail economic activity in the United States by surveying companies with one or more establishments that sell merchandise and related services to final consumers. It is important because the Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the estimates to calculate Gross Domestic Product. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the estimates to develop consumer price indexes and productivity measurements. The Council of Economic Advisers uses the estimates to analyze current economic activity. The Federal Reserve Board uses the estimates to assess recent trends in consumer purchases. The media use the estimates to report news of recent consumer activity. Financial and investment companies use the estimates to measure recent economic trends.

National GDP


Notes: The National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) tracks the quarterly growth rate of everything that is newly produced in the U.S. in a given quarter. This is important because it gives information about the size of the economy and how an economy is performing. The growth rate of real GDP is an indicator of the general health of the economy. An increase in real GDP is interpreted as a sign that the economy is doing well.

Hillsborough County Gross Sales


Notes: Hillsborough County Gross Sales tracks the gross sales for specific industries within Hillsborough County. This is important because it shows which industries within Hillsborough County are growing or contracting, and how much sales they produce each quarter.

State of Florida Tax Revenue


Notes: The State of Florida Sales Tax Revenue tracks how much money the state of Florida brings in on the sales tax charged on goods and services sold in the state during a specific quarter. This is important because income generated from sales taxes account for nearly 80% of the state's revenue. The more money collected from sales taxes, the more money the state gets to spend on state-funded projects and services. Also, the more money collected from sales taxes, the more sales that were produced within the state that quarter.


National Durable Goods Report


Notes: The National Durable Goods Report tracks broad-based, quarterly statistical data on economic conditions in the domestic manufacturing sector. The survey measures current industrial activity and provides an indication of future business trends.

Industrial Capacity Utilization

Notes: The National Industrial Capacity Utilization report tracks the productivity and the total capacity for the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities sectors. This is important because the industrial sector, together with construction, accounts for the bulk of the variation in national output over the course of the business cycle. The details provided by these measures helps illuminate structural developments in the economy.

Construction Spending

Notes: The National Construction Spending reports tracks the value of construction installed or erected at the site during a given period. Construction spending includes costs associated with materials, labor, a proportionate share of the cost of construction equipment rental, contractor's profit, cost of architectural and engineering work, miscellaneous overhead and office costs chargeable to the project on the owner’s books, and interest and taxes paid during construction. This is important because, along with the industrial sectors, construction spending gives insights into the future growth of the economy.

Corporate Debt

Notes: The Corporate Debt reports tracks the amount of debt of public corporations as a percentage of their market value. This is important because a higher level of debt can signal upcoming financial issues for a company.

---Population & Employment---

State of Florida Population

Notes: The State of Florida Population Reports tracks the number of people living in Florida. It is important because the more people living in Florida, the more goods and services are needed to support those people.

Hillsborough County Population

Notes: The Hillsborough County Population Reports tracks the number of people living in Hillsborough County. It is important because the more people living in Hillsborough County, the more goods and services are needed to support those people.

Total Employment

Notes: The National Total Employment report tracks the total number of non-farm employees in the United States. It is important because it shows the number of employees either added or subtracted to the labor force. Also known as the jobs report.

Employment-Population Ratio

Notes: The National Employment-Population Ratio tracks the pace of job creation, relative to the adult population. It is important because it takes into account both the impacts of the labor force participation and unemployment.

Florida Business Formations

Notes: The Florida Business Formations report tracks the number of new businesses created per quarter in the State of Florida. This is important because the more new businesses that are created, the goods and services that are used to provide for and service those businesses. (The data is non-seasonally adjusted data.)

United States Business Formations

Notes: The National U.S. Business Formations report tracks the number of new businesses created per quarter throughout the United States. This is important because the more new businesses that are created, the goods and services that are used to provide for and service those businesses. (The data is non-seasonally adjusted data.)

Unemployment Claims

Notes: The National Initial Unemployment Claims reports tracks the number of individuals claiming unemployment benefits for the first time, as aggregated on a weekly basis. This is important because it shows how many people are unable to find meaningful employment. The more people unable to find meaningful employment, the weaker the economy. If unemployment claims fall, that can mean more people are able to obtain jobs which produces a stronger economy. (The data is non-seasonally adjusted data.)

---Surveys & Sentiment---

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Notes: The National Consumer Price Index report tracks the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. It is important because it measures inflation, one of the greatest threats to a healthy economy. Over time, increased inflation means an increases the cost of living. If the inflation rate is high enough, it hurts the economy since everything costs more. However, if inflation too low, business productivity diminishes as goods and services will cost less.

Personal Savings Rate

Notes: The National Personal Savings Rate report tracks the percentage of people's disposable income that they save instead of spending. It's calculated as the amount of income left after people spend money and pay taxes. This is important because the U.S. saving rate is watched to learn about Americans' financial health and to help predict consumer behavior and economic growth.

NAHB Builder Confidence Index

Notes: The National Association of Home Builder's (NAHB) Builder Confidence Index report tracks survey results of NAHB members designed to take the pulse of the 6-month future prospects of single-family housing market based on the conditions of sales and traffic of prospective buyers. It is important because higher builder confidence means a more positive outlook on future sales and expansion of new home construction, one the biggest drivers of economic output for the economy.

Consumer Sentiment Index

Notes: The National Consumer Sentiment Index report tracks survey results of individual's responses regarding their own financial health, the health of the economy in the short-term, and the prospects for longer-term growth. It is important because if people are confident about the future they are likely to shop more, boosting the economy. In contrast, when consumers are uncertain about what lies ahead, they tend to save money and make fewer discretionary purchases. Gloomy sentiment weakens demand for goods and services, impacting corporate investment, the stock market, and employment opportunities.

Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)

Notes: The National Purchasing Managers Index report tracks survey responses from purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector on new orders from customers, speed of supplier deliveries, inventories, order backlogs and employment level. Respondents can report either better, same or worse business conditions than previous months. It is important because the direction of the trend in the PMI tends to precede changes in the trend in major estimates of economic activity and output, such as the GDP, industrial production, and employment. (Note: quarterly data is an average of monthly data points.)

---Commercial Real Estate---

SBA 504 Mortgage Interest Rates

Notes: The Small Business Administration's (SBA) 504 Mortgage Interest Rate report tracks the average interest rate on the Small Business Administration's 20-year, fixed-rate, commercial loan for acquiring real estate, fixed assets, or completing a construction or renovation project. With the 504 program, a commercial borrower is required to put 10% toward a downpayment. This is important because interest rates influence the cost of borrowing. The lower the cost of borrowing, the easier it for a company to make capital improvements and spend capital expenditures.

NMHC Rent Payment Tracker

Notes: The National Multifamily Housing Council's (NMHC) Rent Payment Tracker tracks the percentage of tenants who paid their monthly apartment rent across the U.S. This is important because the rent payment is usually the most important expense rental households make every month. The higher the percentage of renters who pay their monthly rent on-time, the better economic outlook for the coming month.

Rental Vacancy Rates

Notes: The National Rental Vacancy Rates report, collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, tracks the number of residential investment rental units that are not currently occupied by a rent-paying tenant. This is important because the lower the vacancy rate (i.e. the higher the occupancy rate), the more income is generated for the property owner which has the potential to lead to more future investments.

RCA CPPI

Notes: The Real Capital Analytics Commercial Property Price Index (RCA CPPI) report tracks a suite of commercial real estate property price indices developed and published by Real Capital Analytics. They are transaction-based, commercial real estate price movements using repeat-sales regression methodology. This is important because it provides a sense of the actual appreciation of value of commercial real estate properties over time.

NAIOP CRE Sentiment Index

Notes: The Commercial Real Estate Development Association's (NAIOP) Commercial Real Estate Sentiment Index tracks survey results of commercial real estate professionals regarding the future outlook of the commercial real estate industry. It is important because it tracks favorable versus unfavorable conditions over the next 12 months for the commercial real estate industry.

NAREIT Index

Notes: The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trust's (NAREIT) Index report tracks the price and earnings of a collection of publicly traded REITs. It is important because the index gives a perspective of the future earnings of a given REIT. The higher the index, the more bullish the market is on that particular REIT. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are one of the most liquid ways of trading commercial real estate.

---Residential Real Estate---

Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index

Notes: The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index report is the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices. It tracks changes in the value of residential real estate nationally with a baseline of the year 2000. This is important because it shows how quickly and by how much the values of homes across the country are increasing on a percentage basis.

Homeownership Rate

Notes: The National Homeownership Rate report tracks the percentage of Americans who own a residential property as their primary home. This is important because a healthy economy shows that about two-thirds of Americans would own their home. Any more indicates a loose lending market and a potentially over-demanded, over-priced residential real estate market. Any less than approximately two-thirds indicates tight lending markets and a potentially over-supplied, under-priced residential real estate market.

Housing Starts

Notes: The National Housing Starts report, compiled by the National Association of Home Builders, tracks the number of new construction single-family residential homes that began construction across the country in that particular month. The higher the starts, the more future sales for the builder.

Residential Mortgage Interest Rates

Notes: The National Residential Mortgage Interest Rate report tracks the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate, residential mortgage secured by the federal government. This is important because interest rates influence the cost of borrowing. The lower the cost of borrowing, the easier it is for a homeowner to purchase a larger, more expensive home. More homes purchased means more positive economic activity.

---Stock & Bond Markets---

S&P 500 Index

Notes: The S&P 500 tracks the performance of 500 of some of the largest publicly traded companies in the US. It is important because it is comprehensive enough to indicate the relative strength or weakness of the economy but not too exhaustive to include too much extra noise about the economy.}}

Yield Curve

Notes: The Yield Curve reports tracks the yield on a security to its time to maturity. It is based on the closing market bid yields on actively traded Treasury securities in the over-the-counter market. It is important because it gives an indication to the health of the economy on both a long-term and short-term basis. Typically, longer-term yields are higher than short-term yields, but if the opposite it true than investors don't believe in the long-term prospects of the economy.

Dividend Yield

Notes: The Dividend Yield reports tracks the monthly dividend yield of the S&P 500. This is important because it shows how much a company pays out in dividends relative to the price of its stock. Low yields mean high stock prices and/or low dividends.

Prime Rate

Notes: The Prime Rate report, as reported by The Wall Street Journal's bank survey, is among the most widely used benchmark in setting home equity lines of credit and credit card rates. It is in turn based on the federal funds rate, which is set by the Federal Reserve. It is important because the prime rate sets the standard for what interest rates should be on nearly every loan type.

Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Notes: The National Earnings Per Share report tracks the cumulative average EPS of the S&P 500. This is important because earnings can cause stock prices to rise, and when they do, investors make money. If a company has high earnings per share, it means it has more money available to either reinvest in the business or distribute to stockholders in the form of dividend payments.

Volatility Index

Notes: The Chicago Board of Options Exchange Volatility Index tracks market expectation of near term volatility conveyed by stock index option prices. It is important because of its tendency to rise when the market drops and to decline when the market rises.