Consult these sources to get a basic understanding of economic indicators and what they mean:
Handbook of United States Economic and Financial Indicators, by F.M. O'Hara, Jr. and F.M. O'Hara III. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000. This work defines nearly 300 indicators, arranged in alphabetical order. The source of each indicator is given in Appendix B, and Appendix A covers non-quantitative or unusual indicators. [ULIB HC 106.8 O47 2000]
Guide to Economic Indicators, by Norman Frumkin. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2006. This book deals primarily with the U.S. economy, government agencies which gather economic data, and the methods they use. [ULIB HC 103 F9 2006]
Economist Guide to Economic Indicators: Making Sense of Economics. New York: Wiley, 1997. Covers economic indicators from an international perspective, with an emphasis on the top 15 industrial economies. [ULIB HA 29 E28 1997]
Statistical Indicators for the Economic & Social Sciences, by Robert V. Horn. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. This book explains what indicators are, how they are developed, and how to interpret them. [ULIB HB 137 H627 1993]
A Dictionary of Economics, by By John Black, Nigar Hashimzade, and Gareth Myles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. From Oxford Reference Online, this electronic dictionary contains definitions of common economic indicators.