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Glossary

Business cycle

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 »

Cycle chronologies

ECRI has long determined recession start and end dates for 22 countries. Before there was a committee to determine U.S. business cycle dates, ECRI co-founder Geoffrey H. Moore determined all recession start and end dates on the National Bureau of Economic Research’s (NBER) behalf from 1949 to 1978. He then served as the committee's senior member until he passed away in 2000. Using the same approach, ECRI has long been seen as the authority on international cycle chronologies. View our international business and growth rate cycle dates »

Coincident indicator

Coincident indicators turn in step with the economy and track the business cycle's progress.

Composite index

A composite index allows a wide range of data to be summarized without using an econometric model.

Future Inflation Gauge (FIG)

The FIG captures underlying inflation pressures that presage cyclical peaks and troughs in the inflation cycle. There is a monthly and a weekly version of the FIG, with historical data from 1948.

Growth rate cycle

Growth rate cycles are alternating periods of upswings and downswings in the economy's rate of growth.

Inflation cycle

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.

ECRI Industrial Price Index (IPI)

The ECRI Industrial Price Index (IPI) was created in 1985 by Geoffrey H. Moore, ECRI's co-founder, and was previously known as the JoC-ECRI Industrial Price Index. The IPI is based on the prices of 18 industrial commodities and is compiled daily by ECRI.

Lagging indicator

Lagging indicators turn after the economy turns, and play a confirmatory role.

Leading indicator

Leading indicators consistently turn before the economy does.

U.S. Weekly Leading Index (WLI)

The WLI is part of a sequence of leading indexes that together flag cyclical turns in economic growth. The WLI is a forward-looking composite leading index that anticipates cyclical turning points in U.S. economic activity by 2-3 quarters. Historical data is freely available to the public, as are WLI updates which occur at 10:30 AM every Friday. The monthly data starts in 1949, and the weekly data in 1967. ECRI clients have early access to data updates, and also access to additional historical data.

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