South Africa’s

Finweek English Edition - - MONEY -

The eyes of the world are cur­rently on t he USA as fears loom that if its debt ceil­ing is not raised, it may de­fault on its debt. About to hit its $16.7tr (gulp!) bor­row­ing limit, a de­fault by the USA could po­ten­tially have dis­rup­tive, if not cat­a­strophic ef­fects on the rest of the world, es­pe­cially in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Mea­sur­ing the f inan­cial health of a coun­try is not un­like re­view­ing the per­for­mance of a com­pany, and some in­di­ca­tors are more telling than oth­ers. But, for the or­di­nary man and woman in the street, many of the in­di­ca­tors are just plain f inan­cial mumbo-jumbo. Most will, more of­ten than not, keep an eye on the ex­change rate as this, for them, is a mea­sure of how weak or strong their coun­try is. So, too, will they pay close at­ten­tion to the gold, oil and plat­inum prices be­cause these are what are most of­ten high­lighted as eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors of the state of health of a na­tion.

So, we thought we would have a stab at un­rav­el­ling the mys­ter­ies of f inan­cial jar­gon, as well as high­light and ex­plain sev­eral f inan­cial in­di­ca­tors to help keep you in the pic­ture. also be used as a mea­sure of liv­ing stan­dards.

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