IEA Pocket Charts:
Key Indicators of Economic Performance and Relationships

Explanatory note

IEA Pocket Charts was IEA's "flagship" publication 1974-79. The Monthly 8-page, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch folder covers the most recent 15 years; the Annual Historical Supplement goes back to 1947. The 120-plus time series are based on government and private data, and on IEA's own conceptual and structural models. The 20-plus chart-panels cover most macro-significant aspects of the economy. This is surely one of the most analytically incisive economic chartbooks ever published. Its convenient compactness and "instant visual analysis" are facilitated by presenting series in the following ways:

Horizontal Presentations.  The series in most panels are shown as inflation-adjustsed growth rates, or as ratios to GDP -- or to Potential GDP or other "growth series" where analytically more appropriate.

Growth-Trend Presentations.  Key series are also shown as absolute values on ratio scales, with an accompanying "growth-rate protractor" for easy estimation of the growth rate along any portion of a series, or between any two dates.

Smoothing.  To remove "saw-tooth" noise and emphasize fundamental patterns, most series are presented mainly as a 2-quarter-centered moving average (1-2-1 weights), sometimes with unaveraged series lightly superimposed.

Analytical Facilitation.  These presentations facilitate analytical comparisons between different time periods and different series. They also facilitate visual estimation of the "normal" value of a series during any period by simply laying a string along it -- a method that is often more realistic and incisive than computer estimation, and also enables users to easily test alternative asumptions.

The chart panels listed below are reproduced from the final issues before publication was suspended -- December 1979 for the monthly IEA Pocket Charts, 1977 for the Annual Historical Supplement. The printed charts had a very high degree of visual precision -- much higher than their web reproductions. Resumption of the publication of these incisive chartbooks would undoubtedly promote better economic analysis, policy and public understanding of economic relationships.

How to Read IEA Charts

The compactness of these charts, and thus their usefulness in comparison and analysis, depends on many innovative presentation features. An understanding of these features is necessary to make full use of the charts. Toward this end, see the web adaptation of the original one-page "How To Read IEA Charts" distributed with every subscription to IEA MONTHLY CHARTS.

List of Charts
X -- indicates Panels not yet placed online.

Regular Monthly Panels
1. Whole Economy: Growth Rate and Operating Rate
2. Money Stock (M1) and Turnover (Money Demand) Ratio
2A. Money Stock needed for policy-indicated economic growth (absolute)
3. Unemployment Rates
4. Key Indicators of Inflationary Shortages of Supply
5. Inflation Rate
A. United States
B. International Comparisons -- Consumer Price Indexes
C. U.S. Prices ('67=100 indexes)
6. Interest Rates -- "Prices of Credit"
7. Housing
8. Private Investment
9. Business Inventory Investment and Stock/Flow Ratios
10. Financing of Nonfarm Corporate Investment
11. Primary Financing
12. Primary Market Financing -- Business and Government
13. Automatic Stabilizer Component of Government Deficit
14. Federal Budgets -- Key Aspects (National Income Basis)
15. Real Output, Income, Retail Sales
15A. Real Income and Sales (monthly, absolute values)
16. Household Saving
17. U.S. International Transactions -- Key Aspects
18. Growth Series (absolute values)
 (Money, Money Demand Ratio, GNP, Industrial Production, Prices, Labor Force)
19. Money Stock/Flow Ratios
20. International Comparisons: Industrial Production
Rotating Monthly Panels
R-4A. Manufacturers' Evaluation of Capacity
R-4B. High Operating Ratios
R-6A. X Interest Rates vs. Inflation Rates
R-10A. X Financial Ratios
R-10B. Corporate Operating and Profit Rates
R-11A. Total Borrowing -- Two Measures (Flow of Funds, IEA)
R-11B. Consumer Instalment Credit
R-11C. X Effect of Federal Borrowing on Total Borrowing
R-15A. Retail Sales
Annual Supplement "Pile-up" Charts
A-1. Capacity GNP Cumulation -- Expenditure Side
  • small size (whole-period viewing)
  • full-size (for printing half-size)
  • left and right halves (for printing full-size)
  • A-2. GNP Cumulation -- Income Side
  • small size (whole-period viewing)
  • full-size (for printing half-size)
  • left and right halves (for printing full-size)
  • A-3. Primary Debt Cumulation -- Credit Uses
  • small size (whole-period viewing)
  • full-size (for printing half-size)
  • left and right halves (for printing full-size)
  • A-4. Household Credit Asset Cumulation and Money Supply -- Credit Sources
  • small size (whole-period viewing)
  • full-size (for printing half-size)
  • left and right halves (for printing full-size)

  • Posted: May 24, 1998
    Last revised: April 2, 1999
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