Business cycles consist of the alternating periods of expansion and contraction in the level of economic activity experienced by market-oriented economies. Learn more about business cycles and business cycle research »
Business cycle chronologies
Before there was a committee to determine U.S. business cycle dates, ECRI co-founder Geoffrey H. Moore decided all of those dates on the NBER's behalf from 1949 to 1978, and then served as the committee's senior member until he passed away in 2000. Using the same approach, ECRI has long determined recession start and end dates for 21 other countries. View our international business and growth rate cycle dates »
Coincident indicators turn in step with the economy and track the business cycle's progress.
A composite index allows a wide range of data to be summarized without using an econometric model.
Future Inflation Gauge (FIG)
The FIG is a forward-looking measure of cyclical peaks and troughs in overall inflation. There is both a monthly and a weekly version of the FIG. The data starts in 1948.
Growth rate cycle
Even during periods when economies do not exhibit business cycle contractions, a business cycle will exhibit growth rate cycles — alternating periods of upswings and downswings in the economy's rate of growth.
Inflation cycles consist of alternating periods of rising and falling inflation. Inflation cycle downturns have a degree of correspondence with economic slowdowns, but sometimes begin before, rather than after, the start of a slowdown.
International Cyclical Outlook (ICO)
Unlike conventional leading indexes, ECRI's international indexes for 21 economies are comparable across borders and typically provide longer leads. The ICO report presents not only comprehensive analysis of our international long leading indexes and future inflation gauges, but also specialized indicators ranging from the Chinese Leading Home Price Index to the U.K. Leading Services Index. Learn more about our reports »
Lagging indicators turn after the economy turns, and play a confirmatory role.
Leading indicators consistently turn before the economy does.
Leading Home Price Index (LHPI)
The LHPI leads cyclical swings in real home prices. It is updated monthly with data starting in 1953.
U.S. Cyclical Outlook (USCO)
We employ not one leading index, like the WLI, but an entire array of leading indexes to forecast turning points in the various sectors and aspects of the economy. Based on over a dozen leading indexes, the USCO report presents in-depth, nuanced analysis of U.S. economic cycle dynamics. Learn more about our reports »
U.S. Weekly Leading Index (WLI)
The WLI is a forward-looking composite leading index that anticipates cyclical turning points in U.S. economic activity by 2-3 quarters. Updates are available on Friday mornings to members at 9:00 AM and to the public at 10:30 AM. The monthly data starts in 1949, and the weekly data in 1967.