Introduction to Economic Data

This Introduction to Economic Data course examines the key economic data and the effect that it has on financial markets.

Particular focus is given to GDP, inflation and unemployment data as well as how traders use these economic indicators.

A short exercise will give participants the opportunity to predict how markets might react to specific macro situations.


This course is for individuals with a basic understanding of economics and the financial markets.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of this course participants should understand
  • The importance, causes and components of key economic data
  • The key economic indicators
  • Short-term trading on economic data

Course Content

  • Central Banks and economic data
  • Macro vs. micro economics
  • Government economic goals
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Calculating GDP
  • Causes of economic growth
  • Case study: US vs. UK GDP
  • Inflation
  • The Philips curve
  • Technicalities of calculating inflation and inflation baskets
  • Causes of inflation and inflation targeting
  • Case study: UK RPI vs. CPI
  • Unemployment
  • Unemployment rate and participation rate
  • Causes and types of unemployment
  • Initial jobless claims, non-farm payroll and the quit rate
  • Other key economic metrics
  • Manufacturing, capacity utilisation, retail sales and consumer confidence
  • Reading economic data
  • Role of economic indicators and data releases schedule
  • Trading on macroeconomic indicators
  • The Taylor rule
  • Current macroeconomic environment
  • Exercises: Short term trading on macro data


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