What are macroeconomic indicators?

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  • Macroeconomic indicators, also known as fundamental data releases, are statistics or readings that reflect the production or output of an economy, government, or sector.
  • They vary in frequency, impact, and meaning.
  • They include things like: interest rates announcements, GDP, consumer price index, employment indicators, retail sales, monetary policy, and more.
  • Macroeconomic indicators may cause increased volatility in the financial markets.
  • Generally speaking, the bigger the difference between market consensus and actual readings, the higher the reaction or volatility.
  • You can stay up to date with all data releases with XTB’s economic calendar, which also gives you the potential impact of each indicator.

In order to trade on financial markets successfully, it’s important to know which macroeconomic indicators may influence price action and any of your open, or potential, positions. Many traders tend to analyse the market calendar for the upcoming week to know when market volatility may increase and how they can manage risk.


Source: xStation

The economic calendar is also built-in to our trading platform, xStation.

On our calendar, you can find the most important macroeconomic readings for the upcoming weeks, together with their potential impact rating. The red exclamation marks identify the most important readings, while the orange exclamation marks indicate the readings with average significance. Finally, the white indicates that the release is anticipated to have little or no impact on the markets.

Some of the most important macroeconomic indicators include:

  • Non-Farm Payrolls (NFPs)
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • Decisions on interest rates
  • Retail Sales
  • Industrial Production
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

As a general rule, you should take into consideration that changing market conditions can affect the significance of a macroeconomic indicator. A good example of this would be the US crisis in 2007, where the housing sector’s collapse led to analysts focusing on indicators related to the real estate market, such as new home sales, existing home sales, and housing starts.

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