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Economic indicators need to record the current and future economic activity as quickly and accurately as possible, both globally and for the various sectors and regions separately. This economic activity typically evolves in a fluctuating movement, where periods of growth alternate with periods of decline. This succession of upward and downward movement is called the business cycle.
Politicians, enterprises and citizens require accurate and timely information on the business cycle to be able to make correct decisions. The determining factors in this context are the turning points, the moments when the movement turns from upward to downward or vice versa.
Economic indicators therefore need to be measured as frequently and quickly as possible: usually on a monthly basis and at the latest within a few months after the reference period.