This chapter examines how a business reporter covers some basic economic stories. On the national level, a key economic indicator is a report from the Department of Commerce's Bureau of the Census that measures manufacturers' shipments, new orders, inventories and unfilled orders. Company managements watch the economy and economic indicators closely. Capital expenditures can be defined as the money spent by a company to expand or build its business. The Federal Reserve Board looks at industrial production by industry, manufacturing, mining and utilities. And it also breaks its production report down by market group, such as consumer goods, business equipment and building materials. A recession caused by many factors, including a decline in the housing market, led many businesses and consumers to reconsider how much they were spending and what they were buying. Many companies depend on strong international currencies for profits.