2015 Economic Calendar
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Released On 5/29/2015 8:30:00 AM For Q1(p):2015
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR0.2 %-0.8 %-1.0 % to -0.2 %-0.7 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR-0.1 %-0.1 %-0.1 % to -0.1 %-0.1 %

First-quarter GDP was revised down about as expected, to minus 0.7 percent vs expectations for minus 0.8 and compared with an initial reading of plus 0.2 percent. Updated source data made for a bigger negative contribution from net exports as imports spiked 5.6 percent from an initial gain of 1.8 percent. The change here is tied to the port strike and the sudden unloading of imports in March. A lower estimate for inventory growth was also a negative. Turning to demand, final sales were revised downward to minus 1.1 percent from minus 0.5 percent.

On the positive side, the contribution from residential fixed investment rose to 5.0 percent from 1.3 percent while the negative contribution from business spending improved 6 tenths to minus 2.8 percent.

The first quarter was definitely weak, showing the first contraction since first-quarter 2014 when GDP fell 2.1 percent in another winter quarter affected by unusually severe weather. The Fed itself has been noting the risk that the pattern of first quarter weakness could reflect how the numbers are crunched by government statisticians to account for seasonal variations. This process may have exaggerated the underlying weakness in the quarter.

Where is GDP currently tracking? Early estimates were in the 3.0 percent range but, due to weak consumer spending, have been slipping to the 2.0 percent range.

Recent History Of This Indicator
First-quarter GDP is expected to move from an initial reading of plus 0.2 percent to a contractionary minus 0.8 percent. To blame is a wider-than-expected trade gap, the result of that quarter's port slowdown. Lower growth in inventories and nonresidential fixed investment are also cited.

Gross Domestic Product represents the total value of the country's production during the period and consists of the purchases of domestically-produced goods and services by individuals, businesses, foreigners and government entities. Data are available in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, as well as in index form. Economists and market players always monitor the real growth rates generated by the GDP quantity index or the real dollar value. The quantity index measures inflation-adjusted activity, but we are more accustomed to looking at dollar values.

Household purchases are counted in personal consumption expenditures -- durable goods (such as furniture and cars), nondurable goods (such as clothing and food) and services (such as banking, education and transportation). Private housing purchases are classified as residential investment. Businesses invest in nonresidential structures, durable equipment and computer software. Inventories at all stages of production are counted as investment. Only inventory changes, not levels, are added to GDP.

Net exports equal the sum of exports less imports. Exports are the purchases by foreigners of goods and services produced in the United States. Imports represent domestic purchases of foreign-produced goods and services and must be deducted from the calculation of GDP. Government purchases of goods and services are the compensation of government employees and purchases from businesses and abroad. Data show the portion attributed to consumption and investment. Government outlays for transfer payments or interest payments are not included in GDP.

The GDP price index is a comprehensive indicator of inflation. It is typically lower than the consumer price index because investment goods (which are in the GDP price index but not the CPI) tend to have lower rates of inflation than consumer goods and services. Note that contributions of each component, as averaged over the prior year, are tracked in the table below (components do not exactly sum to total due to chain-weighted methodology). Consumption expenditures, otherwise known as consumer spending, has over history been steadily making up an increasing share of GDP.  Why Investors Care
Real GDP growth is always quoted at a quarterly annual rate. It measures how much the economy has grown over a three-month period. Quarterly growth rates are often volatile; consequently, economists also like to look at the year-over-year growth in GDP. The yearly changes tend to be more stable.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
It is common to compare quarterly changes at annual rates in the GDP deflator. These can be volatile, just like the quarterly swings in real GDP growth; as a result, the trend in inflation is better determined by year- over- year changes.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2015 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/302/273/274/295/296/247/308/279/2510/2911/2412/22
Release For: Q4(a):2014Q4(p):2014Q4(f):2014Q1(a):2015Q1(p):2015Q1(f):2015Q2(a):2015Q2(p):2015Q2(f):2015Q3(a):2015Q3(p):2015Q3(f):2015
A: Advance P: Preliminary F: Final

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