Economic indicators

NOTE: The many resources described in this guide are just a small part of what is available. Ask a Librarian for help if you don't find what you need.

Definitions and Background Information

  • Oxford Reference Online
    Includes full text of A Dictionary of Economics and the Handbook of International Financial Terms, along with hundreds of other sources.
  • Guide to economic indicators 
    Provides useful information on over seventy economic indicators including those issued by government agencies as well as by private organizations.

British Columbia

  • British Columbia business indicators 1990-2014 [online or print]
    Monthly issues cover general employment and financial indicators, and sectoral indicators for resources, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation, tourism and trade.
  • British Columbia current economic indicators 1986-2010 [print]
    Monthly tables for labour market, employment by industries, exports, population, prices and finance figures. More current information can be found on the BC Government's Economics page.
  • Quarterly report on the economy, fiscal situation, and outlook
    From British Columbia Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations. Reviews the current economic situation and outlook, with transaction details of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, government and crown corporation debt and interim financial statements.
  • Economic analysis of British Columbia 1989- [online or print]
    Monthly overview from the Credit Union Central of British Columbia. Each issue covers various topics.
  • Quarterly regional statistics (Victoria, B.C.). 1994-
    Overview of the regional economy, covering retail activity and sales, mines and manufacturing, building and tourism, incorporations and bankruptcies, and other demographic statistics.


  • Bank of Canada. Review. 1971- [online or print]
    Quarterly statistical tables covering major financial and economic indicators, the Bank of Canada, chartered banks and other financial institutions, financial aggregates and markets, the federal government, general economic statistics, foreign exchange and balance of payments. Also articles on topics of concern to the Bank, staff studies and press releases.
  • Bank of Canada. Weekly financial statistics. 1998-
    Tables covering Canadian banking assets, financial market statistics, exchange rates, consumer price index, etc.
    ** See Inside the Bank of Canada's Weekly financial statistics: a technical guide. 2nd ed. 1989 [print] for "A column by column, page by page technical guide to the Bank of Canada statement."
  • Canadian economic observer. 1988- [online or print]
    Part 1 is a monthly explanation of current economic conditions and events, with feature articles on various topics. Part 2 is a statistical summary of tables covering national accounts, labour markets, prices, international trade, manufacturing and services industries, financial markets, and provincial and international data.
  • Canadian economic observer. Historical statistical supplement. 1988- [online or print]
    Supplements the above title, with longer time series.
  • Canadian outlook, economic forecast. 1985-1997. [print]
    Quarterly report from The Conference Board of Canada, covering consumer expenditures, housing, government, investment, international trade, energy, employment, prices and financial markets, with tables on GDP, prices, consumer spending and interest rates.
  • Statistics Canada: Selected Economic Indicators
    Covers national accounts, prices, labour, and trade.
  • Provincial outlook: economic forecast.1986-1997. [print]
    Quarterly report from The Conference Board of Canada, with economic forecasts for each province, including key economic indicators.
  • Market research handbook. 1969- [online or print]
    Includes tables and charts on general economic indicators, socio-economic characteristics, personal income and expenditure, housing and household facilities, and merchandising and service industry data. 
  • Central 1 Credit Union - Economic Briefings
    Archived and current Weekly Economic Briefings providing a BC perspective and up-to-date information on interest rates, the national debt, employment trends, budget highlights, inflation, tax changes and other economic issues of the day. Also includes housing updates for the Lower Mainland & Vancouver Island, monthly interest rate forecasts, budget updates, and more.

United States

  • Business Statistics of the United States [online or print]
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Economic Indicators
    Quarterly updates on many indicators, such as home sales, housing starts, international trade, retail sales, household income and poverty. With graphs.
  • Economic indicators. 1963, 1966- [online or print]
    Presents basic statistical series on total output, income, and spending; employment and wages; production and business activity; prices, currency, credit and security markets; and federal finance. Updates from The economic report of the President [online or print]
  • Economic Indiciators and Data
    Data series provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Federal reserve bulletin. 1960- [online or microform]
    Complete current statistics on US financial conditions and developments in other countries.
  • FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data)
    A database of over 3000 U.S. economic time series.You can download data in Microsoft Excel and text formats and view charts of data series. See also the new ALFRED® ArchivaL Federal Reserve Economic Data site which provides access to vintage versions of data that were available on specific dates in history. Provides access to over 19,000 series in 14 categories.
  • Guide to economic indicators. 4th ed. 2006. [print]
    Describes more than 50 indicators developed by the federal government, private sources and international organizations.
  • Handbook of key economic indicators. 1998. [print]
    Focuses on the non-financial economic indicators most closely followed by financial markets. Covers employment, personal income, retail sales, consumer and producer price indexes, industrial production, international trade, GDP, etc.
  • Handbook of United States economic and financial indicators. 2000. [print]
    Includes 248 indicators providing a description of each indicator, information on how these are calculated, how the indicator is used and a table of sources that give the values for each indicator.
  • Survey of current business. 1921- [online or microform]
    Covers basic income and trade developments in the US, including prices, foreign trade, commodities and industries. Updates in Survey of current business: business statistics, biennial supplement [print] and Statistical abstract of the United States [online or print]
  • Statistical abstract of the United States [online or print]
    Contains a collection of statistics on social and economic conditions in the United States as well as selected international data.This source also provides data from the Census Bureau, other US government agencies and some private organizations.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    "The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labor. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor. BLS data must satisfy a number of criteria, including relevance to current social and economic issues, timeliness in reflecting today’s rapidly changing economic conditions, accuracy and consistently high statistical quality, and impartiality in both subject matter and presentation."


  • Economic statistics monthly. Bank of Japan. [print]
    Key statistics covering currency supply, interest rates and stock prices, GDP, industrial production, consumer spending, prices, commodities, wages, foreign trade, etc.
  • Japanese economic indicators quarterly. [print]
    Charts and tables for statistics as above.
  • Key indicators. Asian Development Bank [online or print]
    Tables of comparative socioeconomic data among developing member countries of the Asian Development Bank, along with detailed data for each country.
  • Quarterly national economic trends, Taiwan area. The Republic of China. [online or print]
    Summary analysis tables for economic growth and national income, prices, gross agricultural, industrial and services products, consumption, foreign trade, government revenue, etc. Main statistical series for GNP and GDP, and comparison data with other major countries.
  • Statistical indicators for Asia and the Pacific. [online or print]
    Monthly publication from the United Nations with tables for 27 countries from Iran to various Pacific islands. Covers population, industry, transport, trade, prices and finance, with quarterly special regional tables.

Europe/Middle East

  • Economic trends. Great Britain. [print]
    Monthly survey with topical articles; time series and graphs for five years cover economic accounts, prices, labour market, output and demand indicators, and selected financial statistics.
  • Economic trends. Annual supplement [print]
    Supplements the above title, with long runs of data.
  • European economy [online or print]
    Semi-annual publication reporting on recent developments in the European Commission, with lengthy statistical annex detailing population and labour market, output, national final uses, prices, wage costs, foreign trade and current balance, saving, money, interest and exchange rates, general government figures, and main economic indicators.
  • Office for National Statistics - Economy (UK)
    United Kingdom key economic statistics for production, retail and producer prices, gross domestic product, national accounts, etc.
  • SourceOECD
    Online statistical databases including National Accounts Database; periodicals such as the OECD Economic Surveys, Quarterly Labor Force Statistics, Quarterly National Accounts, Main Economic Indicators, Monthly Statistics of International Trade; electronic books and much more.
  • UNECE Statistical Database
    A statistical database maintained by the Statistical Division of the UNECE Secretariat. Organised by subject or policy areas, multi-dimensional tables present data by country, by various socio-economic classifications related to the context, and by time period. Users may be particularly interested in the statistics on CIS and central and eastern European countries, which are difficult to find elsewhere in a single integrated database.


  • Data-Planet statistical datasets
    Time series data from 80+ source organizations, including many US government agencies, as well as Statistics Canada, the IMF, OECD, UN, WTO, EC, and more. See these blog posts for more on Data Planet.
  • GFDatabase
    Economic and financial data covering most countries. GFDatabase is notable in that it combines data from archival and current sources to create time series that span decades... and often even centuries. See this blog post for more information.
  • UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics database
    A comprehensive collection of statistical data relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment and development, for individual countries and for economic and trade groupings.
  • International economic indicators: a sourcebook. [print]
    Detailed information on leading, coincident and lagging indicators. Countries include Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the USA.
  • STAN : OECD structural analysis statistics
    From the OECD: "provides analysts and researchers with a comprehensive tool for analysing industrial performance at a relatively detailed level of activity across countries. It includes annual measures of output, labour input, investment and international trade broken down by International Standard Industrial Classification codes including those covering services."
  • International financial statistics. [online or print] Also online for SFU Researchers through the International Monetary Fund database.
    Topical tables on interest and exchange rates, balance of payments, world trade, money and banking, and commodity prices, with detailed country tables. Updates in the International financial statistics yearbook [print]
  • Monthly bulletin of statistics. United Nations. Statistical Office. [online or print]
    Covers finance, trade and many other social statistics. Updates in the Statistical yearbook [print]
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Main economic indicators. 1965- [online or print] Also online for SFU researchers through SourceOECD
    Monthly tables for indicators by subject and country.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Main economic indicators. Historical statistics.1955- [online or print]
    Supplements the above title, with revised and longer series runs of data.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. OECD economic outlook. 1967- [online or print] Also online for SFU researchers through SourceOECD
    Monthly overview of projections for output, employment, prices and current balances for two years, with analysis of government policies. Compares developments in selected non-member countries.
  • World development report [online or print]
    Each issue deals with a specific topic; statistical appendix.
  • World development indicators [online or print]
    World development indicators (WDI) is the World Bank's annual compilation of data about development; provides direct access to more than 550 development indicators, with time series for 208 countries and 18 country groups from 1960 onward.
  • World economic outlook. International Monetary Fund. [print]
    Also freely available online from the IMF site along with the World Economic databases.
    Reviews world economic conditions with short- and medium-term projections in expository chapters, with a statistical appendix of over 40 tables showing output, inflation, financial policies and accounts, and foreign trade.
  • World tables. 1976-1995 [print]
    NOTE: replaced by World Development Indicators after 1995 (see above).
    Economic statistics for developing countries and industrialized economies that are World Bank members.

To find additional books, Browse Search the Library Catalogue with the subject term economic indicators. For more information on searching the Library catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide. Ask for help if you don't find what you need.

Journal articles

The following databases contain both article citations and full-text articles. Ask for assistance at the Reference Desk if you can't find what you need in these databases.

  • ECONLIT. 1969-
    Contains citations, with abstracts, to articles from more than 400 economics journals on topics ranging from accounting to regional economics.
  • Academic Search Premier. 1984-
    Contains indexes and abstracts for articles from more than 8,000 journals and provides full text for more than 4,500 journals. Covers a broad range of disciplines, including political science, public administration, language and literature, communications, business administration, biological and medical sciences, computer sciences, education and history.
  • Passport
    Euromonitor’s Passport provides data and reports on consumers, markets, companies, and economies in over 350 markets and 207 countries.
  • CBCA Complete. 1982-
    CBCA is the major index for Canadian newspapers, popular and business magazines, and scholarly journals. It also includes full-text versions of many articles.

Further resources