How macro-economic data can help you set business strategy

Macro-economic information can often be one of the most important sources of data when setting a company’s strategies. Yet, this data is not always timely or that accessible. Whether you are reviewing the optimal staffing level for your firm in the coming year, or determining how much inventory to purchase, it is essential to understand what is happening at the core of the economic environment. Below are a few sources of valuable information that can help provide a glimpse into the current state of the businesses in the U.S.

1)      The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics provides interesting information on inflation, unemployment, pay & benefits and productivity among other key data.

2)      The U.S. Small Business Administration is a valuable resource to small business owners.  The site provides access to tools, resources and training aimed to help small business owners.  The site also provides research and reports that can have valuable pieces of economic information.

3)      The Federal Reserve Board has numerous areas of financial information.  The Fed publishes many statistical reports on the banking industry, but they also cover inflation, consumer finance information, home mortgage trends and the impact on home prices.  These reports often provide visibility into the macro-economic forces that are driving the economy. 

4)      Experian’s quarterly Business Benchmark Report provides a quarterly view into the financial position, risk, and payment behaviors of the 25 million+ businesses in the U.S.

Utilizing these tools can help you evaluate your strategic direction in the coming months. If there are any other interesting sites you’d like to share, please feel free to comment with additional resources you find helpful.