GDP, CPI, M1 and M2. Leading, lagging and coincident. Procyclical, countercyclical and acyclical. The economic indicators are an indispensable part of the economics beat, pointing to the state of health of local, regional and national economies. Covering the economy is not your run-of-the-mill business beat. Journalists tasked with writing about the economy rely on economic indicators issued by statistical agencies to convey to readers the impact of economic activity on firms, investors, consumers and society at large. At the same time, they must be careful to avoid using complicated terminology while interpreting economic data for a lay audience.
This month’s training session features a panel of experts who will discuss some of the most important economic indicators, how to interpret and analyze them and how to properly incorporate economic indicators into stories that are relevant for local, regional and national audiences.
Jon Hilsenrath is the global economics editor for The Wall Street Journal, where he is responsible for covering the Federal Reserve. In cooperation with reporters in the economics and other bureaus, he also covers major developments in the U.S. and global economies for all print and online editions of The Journal and contributes to WSJ.com’s Real Time Economics site. Prior to his current position, Jon was The Journal’s markets editor, overseeing global coverage of stock, bond and currency markets.
Jeannine Aversa is the chief of public affairs and outreach at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington. She previously was a Federal Reserve and economics reporter for Bloomberg News and an economics reporter for the Associated Press.
Joshua Boak is an economics writer at the Associated Press in Washington. He previously was the deputy Washington bureau chief of The Fiscal Times, covering economics and politics in addition to editing stories. Before that, Josh was an economics reporter at Politico and he worked as the reporter/researcher on the book Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward.
Ben Leubsdorf has been a reporter for The Wall Street Journal since January 2014 and covers the U.S. economy. He previously worked as a reporter for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and as an editorial assistant for the Associated Press in Detroit.