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THE ECONOMIC SIGNALS REPORT: Data points every business leader should understand

Understanding data can help you take the pulse of the economy — and the forces affecting your customers. Photo: iStock

Economic data is a guide to what’s happening outside a business, in the broader world.

It is essential that executives are familiar with the key data releases and the signals they are sending. An understanding of the data and what its impact might be on their own industry can help in planning and capital allocation decisions — and managing the board.

Knowing what to look out for and what the data says can keep executives on top of broader economic developments in Australia and globally. For a trade-exposed nation like Australia, this can be the difference between success and failure.

But tracking the economy is not a simple task. Businesses need to wade through a plethora of data every day to understand trends and forecast demand for their products and services.

From the monthly or quarterly data releases by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, to central bank rate decisions and statements on the economy, there are vast amounts of economic signals available to businesses to help inform strategy and planning.

The BI / Research Economic Signals Report tells executives what are the best data sources on the broader Australian economic conditions, where to find the relevant data to them and when to expect its release. The report is free to registered users of BI / Research, an in-depth resource for today’s Australian business leaders.

Knowing if an economic signal is likely to have a positive or negative effect on a business allows leaders to make better decisions. The challenge lies in piecing together the various data points and determining the relevant signals amidst the noise to help illuminate the path ahead.

Interpretation is paramount. Is a high CPI reading good news or bad news for your business? Should you be cheering a stronger Australia dollar or is a strong currency likely to hurt your business?

High wages growth might be a cost burden for some businesses, but it could also increase buying power for the customers of other businesses. We look at the implications and how to think about the impact of key economic releases on your business.

We look at the major Australian economic data such as GDP growth, inflation, employment and wages growth.

There is also a lot of daily commentary on financial markets. Local and global bond yields, stock markets and commodity prices all have an impact on the outlook for the Australian economy and individual businesses.

Our report aims to help executives cut through the noise and understand what the main financial data means and how it might affect their current and future business strategy and operations.

To read The Economic Signals Report, sign up to BI / Research for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.

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Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.