There is no lack of information for diagnosing the development of an economy. The problem is more one of obtaining a concise summary. The IW Business Cycle Traffic Light captures at a glance the changes in important economic indicators for Germany, the Eurozone, the USA and China. This can only be achieved by establishing which improvements and deteriorations in the short-term development of the economy can be defined as relevant. Like its individual underlying indicators, the IW Business Cycle Traffic Light represents the status of information a varying number of months ago, thus partly reflecting the inevitable recognition lags in business cycle diagnosis.