Thomas Molloy: Recovery has started but we have a bumpy road to travel
ECONOMISTS often talk of lagging and leading indicators. Lagging indicators tell you what has happened, while leading indicators (hopefully) give some indication about what is about to happen.
A classic lagging indicator is employment. Companies tend to wait until they are sure of a recovery before going to the trouble and expense of hiring new people.
A classic leading indicator would be orders placed with manufacturing and services companies. Lots of orders suggest the economy will pick up in a few months.