Economic indicators: Hot or not?

FORTUNE — If you look closely, you can find economic indicators everywhere. Over the years, economists have examined everything from hemlines to men’s underwear sales to taxi availability to try and forecast the economy’s future.

But the recent turmoil has changed the way some economists look at their favorite indicators. Data that was seen as prescient a few years ago is all but considered a failure today. Some indicators that were once wallflowers are now in the spotlight.

Since uncertainty seems to reign these days, perhaps it’s not surprising that other major indicators, such as consumer confidence and stock market prices, have no clear consensus.

After taking an unscientific poll of economists and other soothsayers, Fortune has devised an official (for now, anyway) “Hot or Not” list of economic indicators, along with a couple that will always remain classics. Hello, ISM Manufacturing Index, and so long housing data!

Continue Reading…….


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