Economic Indicators Dashboard: Frequently Asked Questions
What does the dashboard tell me?
- The dashboard offers a snapshot of current Canada economic and market conditions, based on key economic and market indicators. The dashboard contextualizes the current reading of each indicator by comparing them to their typical, historical ranges of month-end values.
Can I use the dashboard as a forecasting tool?
- No. The dashboard is not meant to serve as a direct prediction regarding the future performance of any economic or financial market.
What defines typical?
- The dashboard definition of "typical range" is +/- 1 standard deviation* away from the mean of all historical month-end values, or 68% of historical values.1
- The typical ranges are based on historical month-end data. Since each data point reports data at a different time, each typical range is calculated independently using data through the end of the previous month. Revised ranges are usually published during the first quarter of the year, whenever an indicator reports data for a new year, or whenever there are revisions to historical data.
How should I interpret the chart?
- The charts show the relationship between the most recent values and their typical historical range.
- Blue color band: represents the typical range (one standard deviation from the mean, i.e. 68% of all historical observations) Indicates more typical behavior for that indicator. If it lies outside, that points to extreme behavior.
- Arrow: shows the most recent three-month trend.
- A grey bar: shows the full range of historical values for each indicator. The lowest recorded value is shown on the left side of the bar and the highest recorded value on the right side of the bar.
- Orange marker: represents the current reading.
Why are these indicators important?
- In order to monitor the current health of the economy and its trend, we believe it's important to keep an eye on both the broad economy as well as key indicators in the market.
How often is the dashboard updated?
- The dashboard shows the most recent quarter end values for each indicator. It is updated periodically to capture previous quarter-end values as they become available. Additionally any revisions to the historical data will be captured with each update.
- While some of the indicators may be measured daily, we choose to include only the quarterly numbers, as they are better indicators of the overall economic trend.
How can I use the dashboard to talk to my clients?
- You can use the dashboard to show your clients how the current market and economy, based on these indicators, compare to historically typical conditions and to show them which direction the market and economy seem to be moving.
*Standard Deviation is a statistical measure of the degree to which an individual value in a probability distribution tends to vary from the mean of the distribution. The greater the degree of dispersion, the greater the risk.