10 Economic Data to Look Out for Every Month


At the beginning of every month, government agencies or various institutions release key economic data that indicates the performance of our overall economy. Analysing these data sets can help us make informed decisions and become intelligent stock market participants. In this article, we shall discuss the top 10 economic data/indicators that you can track and analyse every month.

1. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Released by: National Statistical Office (NSO)

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product. It is a key economic indicator that represents the total monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country's borders during a specific period. It is typically measured on a quarterly or annual basis. GDP is used to assess and quantify the economic performance and health of a country.

GDP is a critical metric for policymakers, economists, and investors as it provides insights into the overall economic activity, growth, and standard of living in a country. However, it's important to note that GDP alone does not capture the entire economic well-being or societal progress, as it does not consider factors like income distribution, environmental impacts, or the overall quality of life.

2. Employment Data

Released by: Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI)

Employment and unemployment data are other essential economic indicators. This data helps us understand the health of the labour market and the overall economic conditions in a country. It shows the number of people currently employed and actively seeking employment. It also shows the number of people unable to fund jobs although willing to work.

The total labour force consists of all employed and unemployed people in an economy. The unemployment rate shows the economy’s spare capacity and unused resources. Moreover, unemployment tends to be cyclical and decreases when the economy expands. When the economy expands, companies employ more employees to meet growing demand.

Check out MoSPI's official website here.

3. Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Released by: Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the changes in the retail price level of general goods and services. These are goods that our Indian households buy for their daily consumption needs. CPI is also helpful in understanding the real value of wages, salaries, and pensions, and the purchasing power of a country’s currency.

Typically, CPI shows inflation in the economy. An increase in CPI indicates that prices of essential retail goods are surging. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) currently uses the Consumer Price Index as the key measure of inflation to set the monetary and credit policy.

4. Wholesale Price Index (WPI)

Released by: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) measures the changes in the price of goods sold and traded in bulk by wholesale businesses to other businesses. In simple terms, WPI is a measure of the wholesale price movements in the country. It includes only the prices of goods and does not include any items related to services.

If the index keeps rising every month, it means that prices of goods are getting inflated at the wholesale level. This may lead to an increase in input costs for manufacturing companies, thus cutting short profit margins.

5. Interest Rates

Released by: Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

The repo rate is the interest rate at which a central bank lends money to commercial banks for short periods. This rate influences borrowing costs, consumer spending, and business investment. When repo rates are lower, loans become cheaper, stimulating economic growth through increased spending and investment.

Central banks adjust the repo rate to control inflation. They raise it to reduce borrowing and spending during economic overheating, which can also impact exchange rates, attracting foreign investment with higher rates. These changes in the repo rate can also influence other interest rates, such as the prime lending rates.

Moreover, the repo rate has an impact on the stock market. Lower rates make equities more appealing to investors. Monitoring the repo rate provides valuable insights into the economy's state and outlook, guiding decisions for businesses, investors, and policymakers

6. Goods & Services Tax Collection Report

Released by: Ministry of Finance

Both Central and state governments levy taxes on the goods and services sold in India. We have the Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST). At the beginning of each month, the ministry publishes the aggregate and state-wise GST collection report.

We can interpret how the overall economy is performing while comparing the GST collection reports to those of the previous months. An increase in GST collection depicts that consumers are spending more money which, in turn, helps the economy and related companies.

7. Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI)

Released by: S&P Global

Released on: The first week of every month.

PMI measures the industrial activity of a country. It gives us a preview of manufacturing activities before the actual industrial data is released. To calculate the index, IHS Markit selects purchasing managers and business executives of specific companies to answer a set of questions on business, employment, and inventories. Based on their answers, a scale ranging from 0 to 100 is calculated. PMI is calculated for both the manufacturing and services sectors.

A PMI above 50 represents an expansionary phase in the corresponding sector. If the PMI value is greater than that of the previous month, it signifies that the economy is improving over time. Similarly, a PMI below 50 represents a contraction in the corresponding sector.

8. Forex Reserves

Released by: Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Forex reserves are like a country's savings account in foreign currencies. They show how financially strong and stable the country is. Having enough reserves helps keep the value of its money steady and ensures smooth international transactions. These reserves are essential for paying for imports and foreign debts without causing economic strain. When a country has ample reserves, it gives confidence to investors and international markets, attracting more investments and protecting against financial troubles.

Forex reserves also allow the country's central bank to intervene in currency markets, stabilising the value of its money and preventing sudden changes.

9. Auto Sales

Released by: Every automobile manufacturer in India.

Every auto manufacturer operating in India has to report its monthly sales figures.

Analysis: We can compare the sales figures with that of the previous month as well as year-on-year (YoY) data to interpret the demand for vehicles. If overall sales have declined heavily, we can consider it as a bearish phase for auto manufacturers and auto ancillary companies, as their businesses have declined.

10. Foreign Exchange Rate

Released by: Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

RBI quotes the rate of the Indian Rupee (INR) to foreign currencies (mainly the US Dollar) daily.

At the beginning of every month, we can find out whether INR has become stronger or weaker. If the Indian Rupee is getting weaker every month, it is beneficial for exporting companies (and IT players as well), as they will be able to generate more revenue. Whereas, if the Rupee is getting stronger, manufacturers who import raw materials (crude oil, metals, minerals) only need to exchange fewer currencies compared to the previous month, which decreases their expenses.

Impact of Economic Data on the Stock Market

Economic data can have a significant impact on the stock market. Investors and traders use this information to measure the health and prospects of the economy and individual companies. Here's how each of the above-mentioned economic data points can influence the stock market:


GDP growth reflects the overall health of the economy. Positive GDP growth is generally associated with increased corporate earnings and can drive stock market appreciation.

Employment Data

Positive employment data signals a strong job market and increased consumer spending, potentially leading to higher stock prices. Conversely, rising unemployment may result in market uncertainty.


Inflation data affects purchasing power and corporate profitability. High inflation can lead to uncertainty in the market and impact stock prices.

Interest Rates (Repo Rate)

Central bank interest rate decisions influence borrowing costs and investment decisions. Lower interest rates can stimulate borrowing and spending, positively affecting stocks.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Changes in GST rates can impact consumer spending and corporate earnings, influencing stock prices in sectors affected by these changes.

Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)

PMI measures the health of the manufacturing sector. A PMI above 50 indicates expansion, which can boost investor confidence and drive stock market growth.

Forex Reserves

High forex reserves indicate a stable economy and may boost investor confidence in the country's financial markets, attracting foreign investment and potentially leading to higher stock prices.

Foreign Exchange Rate

A strong domestic currency relative to foreign currencies can impact exports and the profitability of multinational companies. A weaker currency can benefit exporters and certain industries, potentially leading to stock market gains.

Auto Sales

Strong auto sales indicate consumer spending and economic activity. Positive auto sales data may signal a healthy economy and potential stock market gains, particularly for automobile-related companies.

In conclusion, economic data acts as a barometer for a country's overall health. It can influence investor sentiment, corporate earnings, and market trends. Investors closely monitor these data points to make informed decisions and adjust their stock market strategies accordingly.

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