Economic Calendar

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Economic Calendar: "GDP Annualized (A)
The GDP for the United States is a gauge of the overall output (goods & services) of the U.S. economy on the continental US GDP is the most comprehensive overall measure of economic output and provides key insight as to the driving forces of the economy.

GDP Influence On Markets
If the figure increases, then the economy is improving, and thus the dollar tends to strengthen. If the number falls short of expectations or meets the consensus, dollar bearishness may be triggered. This sort of reaction is again tied to interest rates, as traders expect an accelerating economy, consumers will be affected by inflation and consequently interest rates will rise. However, much like the CPI, a negative change in GDP is more difficult to trade; just because the pace of growth has slowed does not mean it has deteriorated. On the other hand, a better than expected number will usually result in the dollar rising as it implicates that a quickly expanding economy will sooner or later require higher interest rates to keep inflation in check. Overall though, the GDP has fallen in significance and its ability to move markets since most of the components of the report are known in advance

Due to the untimeliness of this report and because data on GDP components are available beforehand, the actual GDP figure is usually well anticipated. But given its overall significance GDP has the tendency to move the market upon release, acting to confirm or upset economic expectations. Robust GDP growth signals a heightened level of activity that is generally associated with a healthy economy. However economic expansion also raises concerns about inflationary pressures which may lead to monetary policy tightening.

Gross Domestic Product is calculated in the following way
GDP = C + I + G + (EX - IM)
C = private consumption
I = private investment
G = government expenditure
EX = exports of goods and services
IM = imports of goods and services

The figure is commonly reported in headlines as an annualized percentage, based on quarterly data.

On a technical note: The GDP can be reported in either real or nominal terms, real GDP being adjusted for inflation. GDP actually has three releases, as an Advanced, Preliminary, and Final figure. The Advanced figure is released four weeks following the quarter's end. One month later, the Preliminary GDP is released, followed by the Final GDP measure at the end of the quarter following the reporting quarter. As the most timely measure, the Advanced GDP tends to move markets the most.

GDP Price Index

Released with the GDP, the GDP Price Index measures the change in the prices of goods and services that are included in US GDP. The GDP Price Index is an indicator for inflation calculated by comparing the current GDP to GDP in the reference year. A high or rising GDP Price Index, like other indicators of inflation, puts pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. These rate hikes generally strengthen the dollar, as they increase the return for many dollar-denominated securities.

The GDP price index differs from other more popular inflation measures, like CPI or PCE Deflator, in that it includes all products accounted for by GDP and does not include the affects of changes in import prices. Furthermore, the report is only released quarterly and commands little market attention because of it lack of timeliness.

The headline figure is the annualized percentage change.

Source of report: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce (U.S.)
Web address:
Frequency: Monthly, around the 4th week following the reported month

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