Utah State

Section 1

Step 2. Envrionmental Analysis

Downloads and Links

National Economic Indicators


The Conference Board


Local Economic Indicators

Utah Pulse

Utah Division of Workforce Services

Energy Information Administration

Now we need to look at the factors that are affecting your business. These things are out of your control and can put you out of business no matter how healthy your business is.

 National Economic Factors

Leading Indicators

Leading indicators are those statistics about the economy that usually change before the economy changes. We can use them as a "Crystal Ball" of sorts to see what changes are coming for the economy in the short term.

 Assignment: Go to The Conference Board link found in the right hand column. Right there on the first page there is a list of U.S. Indicators and the direction they are trending.

 Assignment: On The Conference Board webpage, Go to the "Press" link usually found at the bottom left of their page. Read through recent reports, summaries and articles (if you can't sleep). This will give you an idea of where the national economy is headed in the next 6 to 9 months.

 Lagging Indicators

Lagging indicators are the statistics that usually change after the economy changes. If you had the time, which as a turnaround you don't, you could do some regression analysis and try to predict future projections based on past trends. However it is good to look at the past trends and get an idea of where the economy has been and generally whether it appears to be improving, remaining the same or deteriorating.

 Assignment: Go to The Conference Board link found in the right hand column. Click on Economics, click on Economic Indicators and read the Economic Indicators Report for the U.S. and other countries that may affect your industry.

 Coincident Indicators

These indicators change at approximately the same time the economy changes. The most used is Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is a measure of the country's overall economic output. I'm not going to show you how it's calculated. You don't have time. Just know that, if it is low, people aren't working, producing or earning incomes. Businesses aren't selling. If it's high, then the economy is moving forward businesses are selling goods and services and people are employed and making money.

 Assignment: Go to The Conference Board link found in the right hand column. Search their website for GDP.You will find recent articles on GDP trends.

Local Economic Factors

National indicators are important but Local Indicators are very important. First, look at what drives the economy in your area. "Your area" is the region you live in and can vary from your neighborhood up to the state level.

 Much of this data you will have to find for your self but in the right hand column, you will see links to some sample websites for the State of Utah. One of the best is the Utah Pulse Dashboard which gives a summary of a lot of state data. The Workforce Services site will give you information about unemployment and wages. The EIA website gives petroleum price and inventory trends which indicate economic growth nationally and locally in Utah.

 Assignment: Now that you have looked at the economic indicators, analyze where you think the economy is headed and discuss it with your counselor. Keep in mind that a poor economy will make pulling your business back from the brink just that much more difficult.

 Assignment: Send all of the previous assignments to your counselor for analysis and suggestions and proceed to the next Step.