Utilizing Economic Indicators to Predict and Analyze Trends

10 Credits: Finance


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Utilizing Economic Indicators to Predict and Analyze Trends

Course Level
CPE Credits

10 Credits: Finance

Course Description

Before this course, the array of economic indicators and their impact on financial markets might seem overwhelming, filled with complex data and implications. However, after completing Michael Walker‘s course, your perspective on economic indicators will be fundamentally transformed. Acting as a bridge, this course takes you from a basic understanding to a comprehensive grasp of these indicators. You will learn to identify the phases of the business cycle, understand the role of various economic conditions, and recognize the tools for monitoring economic indicators. The course covers the unique characteristics of financial markets, the calculation of interest rates, and the impacts of GDP components. Additionally, you will explore the Federal Reserve’s role in financial markets and how monetary policy affects the U.S. money supply. By the end of this course, you will not only be able to calculate unemployment rates and inflation but also interpret the economic impact of various reports, positioning you as a knowledgeable professional capable of navigating the complexities of economic indicators and their implications in the financial world.

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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Identify the four phases of the business cycle
  • Indicate how various economic conditions impact the business cycle
  • Identify the types of economic indicators that exist and recognize the unique characteristics of each type
  • Recognize tools that are currently available to monitor economic indicators

Chapter 2

  • Identify the unique characteristics of financial markets
  • Recognize the types of financial instruments traded in various financial markets
  • Calculate ‘simple’ and ‘compound’ interest
  • Identify how a bond’s stated interest rate and its yield-to-maturity impacts the price at which it is traded
  • Recognize how interests can vary based on the risk structure of interest rates
  • Identify how a yield curve illustrates the term structure of interest rates

Chapter 3

  • Identify the components of gross domestic product (GDP) and recognize how economic indicators impact these components
  • Calculate GDP
  • Identify the difference between nominal and real GDP
  • Recognize the economic impact of the GDP report

Chapter 4

  • Recognize the role that the Federal Reserve System (‘the Fed’) plays in financial markets
  • Identify the tools used by the Fed to conduct its monetary policy and explain how these tools impact the U.S. money supply
  • Calculate the two measures used by the Federal Reserve to estimate the U.S. money supply (M1 & M2)
  • Recognize the economic impact of the FOMC Statement and the other reports issued by the Fed

Chapter 5

  • Calculate the unemployment rate and recognize the inherent limitations of the unemployment rate
  • Recognize the characteristics and economic impact of the Employment Situation Report and other employment indicators
  • Identify the methods in which consumer sentiment and consumer confidence are measured
  • Identify how consumer income and spending is measured and presented on the Personal Income and Outlays report

Chapter 6

  • Calculate an annual rate of inflation
  • Identify the primary price indexes that measure inflation, including the CPI and PPI
  • Recognize the impact that commodities markets have on inflation
  • Recognize how economic growth is impacted by labor productivity
  • Identify the economic indicators used to monitor productivity

Chapter 7

  • Recognize the methods in which the Federal Reserve measures and reports industrial production and capacity utilization
  • Identify industrial production indicators that have the most impact on the economy
  • Recognize the impact that changes in the housing market has on the economy
  • Identify the economic indicators used to monitor the housing market

Chapter 8

  • Classify a country’s balance of trade as either a ‘trade surplus’ or a ‘trade deficit’
  • Identify scenarios where one country has an absolute advantage and/or a comparative advantage in producing a good over another country
  • Recognize the economic indicators used to monitor international trade
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Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
September 8, 2022

There are no prerequisites.

Advanced Preparation


Number of Pages

Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220

CMA Notice: Western CPE makes every attempt to maintain our CMA CPE library, to ensure a course meets your continuing education requirements please visit Insitute of Management Accountants (IMA)

CFP Notice: Not all courses that qualify for CFP® credit are registered by Western CPE. If a course does not have a CFP registration number in the compliance section, the continuing education will need to be individually reported with the CFP Board. For more information on the reporting process, required documentation, processing fee, etc., contact the CFP Board. CFP Professionals must take each course in it’s entirety, the CFP Board DOES NOT accept partial credits for courses.

Meet The Experts

Michael J. Walker Headshot

Michael J. Walker, CPA, is based in New England and has decades of accounting experience in the financial services, information technology services, and construction industries. He has an extensive technical accounting background that includes hands-on experience with U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). His expertise includes accounting for financial instruments, securitizations, and other banking products. He graduated from Bentley University with a BS in finance and an MS in accountancy.