2015 Economic Calendar
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GDP  
Released On 10/29/2015 8:30:00 AM For Q3(a):2015
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR3.9 %1.7 %1.0 % to 2.3 %1.5 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR2.1 %1.4 %0.8 % to 2.0 %1.2 %

Highlights
Steady domestic spending helped to prop up GDP growth in the third-quarter which came in at an annualized 1.5 percent, just shy of expectations. Final sales rose a very respectable 3.0 percent in the quarter in a gain that points to underlying momentum for the fourth quarter. Both residential and nonresidential investment slowed in the third quarter with both net exports and especially inventories also pulling down GDP. The price index came in a little lower than expected at plus 1.2 percent.

Personal consumption expenditures slowed 4 tenths but are still a major highlight at a plus 3.2 percent rate. Service spending, an area insulated from global factors, continues to show solid resilience. But it was spending on durables, including vehicles, that was the strongest consumer category in the quarter. Government purchases, another area of domestic-centered spending, also contributed to the quarter's growth.

The quarter's 1.5 percent rate is only 2 tenths lower than the average growth of the prior four quarters and comes against a difficult 3.9 percent comparison in the second quarter. Not a great result but not bad either.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Real GDP, after rising 3.9 percent in the second quarter, is expected to slow to a modest plus 1.7 percent in the first estimate for the third quarter. Wide slowing is expected though residential investment, in a reflection of housing strength, is expected to be a plus. Net exports and nonresidential fixed investment are expected to be negatives, as are inventories as businesses grew cautious over the outlook.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
[Chart]
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: 1/302/274/295/296/247/308/279/2510/2911/2412/22
Release For: Q4(a):2014Q4(p):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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