Until recently, determining the cadence of the U.S. economy and job market was relatively straightforward as the nation transitioned to the pandemic recovery. Now the task for economists has given way to growing uncertainty as inflation sits at a four-decade high, borrowing costs climb, and the back beat of recession grows louder.

"There's a lot of ambiguity right now in the economy, and it's hard to understand and parse what's going on—never mind trying to understand what's going to happen over the next few months," said Nick Bunker, economic research director at jobs website Indeed Inc.

Economists don't tend to look at any given indicator in a vacuum. Instead, they consider a wide variety of data when making projections about the health of the economy. Even so, here are a few popular indicators—and how one can view sustained downward movements in each through a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty perspective:

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including PropertyCasualty360.com and Law.com.

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.