FxPro Help Centre - Glossary

Lagging Indicator

A Lagging Indicator is a financial or economic metric that tends to change after the underlying conditions in the market have already begun to change. Unlike leading indicators, which provide signals about future price movements or economic trends, lagging indicators confirm trends that have already occurred. These indicators are often used by analysts and traders to validate the direction of a trend rather than predict future movements.

Examples of lagging indicators include:

  • Moving Averages: Moving averages smooth out price data over a specified period, providing a clearer picture of the overall trend. However, they lag behind current price action because they are calculated based on historical data.
  • Unemployment Rate: Changes in the unemployment rate are often seen as lagging indicators of economic health. Rising unemployment rates typically reflect economic downturns that have already occurred, while declining rates may indicate that the economy is recovering.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth: GDP growth is a lagging indicator because it reflects the overall economic performance of a country over a specific period, typically a quarter or a year. Changes in GDP growth may confirm the direction of the economic trend but often lag behind other leading indicators.

Lagging indicators are valuable for confirming trends and providing a broader perspective on market or economic conditions. However, traders and analysts must be aware of their inherent lag and use them in conjunction with leading indicators for a more comprehensive analysis of the market.