2011 Economic Calendar
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GDP  
Released On 9/29/2011 8:30:00 AM For Q2(f):2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR1.0 %1.2 %0.9 % to 1.4 %1.3 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR2.4 %2.4 %2.4 % to 2.5 %2.5 %

Highlights
Economic growth for the second quarter ended up stronger than previously estimated but remained anemic. The Commerce Department's final estimate for second quarter GDP growth was bumped up to a rise of 1.3 percent annualized, compared to the prior estimate of 1.0 percent annualized and to first quarter growth of 0.4 percent. The median market forecast called for a 1.2 percent annualized gain.

Final sales of domestic product were revised to an annualized 1.6 percent from the previous estimate of 1.2 percent. Final sales to domestic purchasers were revised up to 1.3 percent from the second estimate of 1.1 percent annualized. By components, the most notable upward revisions were to nonresidential structures, PCEs, and exports.

Economy-wide inflation was revised up incrementally to 2.5 percent annualized, compared to the previous estimate of 2.4 percent and the first quarter rise of 2.5 percent. Analysts had projected a no revision number of 2.4 percent.

Overall, economic growth was very sluggish during the first half of 2011. More recent monthly data are very mixed but net suggest marginal strengthening at best for the third quarter.

On the news, equity futures rose further but more on a drop in initial jobless claims.

Consensus Outlook
GDP growth in the Commerce Department's second estimate for second quarter GDP was nudged down to a modest gain of 1.0 percent annualized, compared to the initial estimate of 1.3 percent and to first quarter growth of 0.4 percent. The downward revision to GDP primarily reflected downward revisions to private inventory investment and to exports. Final sales of domestic product were revised to an annualized 1.2 percent from the initial estimate of 1.1 percent. Final sales to domestic purchasers were revised up to 1.1 percent from the original estimate of 0.5 percent annualized. Economy-wide inflation was revised up marginally to 2.4 percent annualized, compared to the original estimate of 2.3 percent.

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
 
 

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