Economic indicators are among the most closely watched pieces of news in the investment world. Practically every week there is some announcement that affects investors' predictions about the future of the economy. Leading indicators are those which are believed to change in advance of changes in the economy, giving you a preview of what is going to happen before the change actually occurs. (There are also coincident indicators, which change about the same time as the overall economy, and lagging indicators, which change after the overall economy, but these are of minimal use as predictive tools.) In addition, the Fed watches many of these indicators as it decides what to do about interest rates. For these reasons, these indicators are important to investors.