The paper presents the business cycle indicator approaches as a methods of analytical appraisal of the current state of tendency of economic activity in a national economy. The author begins with the presentation of the essence of this method and the standard procedures used in it. Several examples showing the application of this method in the USA and other Western countries are included. Another part of the study deals with the advantages of and shortcomings of the method. It also defines the relation between the indicator approach and business surveys. The last section presents the attempts made hitherto to develop a composite leading indicator for Poland's economy based on the business cycle indicator or barometric approach.