2011 Economic Calendar
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GDP
Released On 11/22/2011 8:30:00 AM For Q3p:2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR2.5 %2.4 %2.0 % to 2.9 %2.0 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR2.5 %2.5 %2.5 % to 2.5 %2.5 %

Highlights
The economy got a moderate downgrade for the third quarter but the downgrade largely came from where there is the least damage to forward momentum. The Commerce Department's second estimate for third quarter GDP growth was bumped down to an increase of 2.0 percent annualized, compared to the initial estimate of 2.5 percent and to second quarter growth of 1.3 percent. Analysts had forecast a revision to 2.4 percent annualized.

The downward revision primarily was due to a downward revision to inventory investment-from plus $5.4 billion initially to minus $8.5 billion. This revision is the equivalent of a 0.43 percentage point lower contribution to GDP growth.

Minor downward revisions also were made to personal consumption, nonresidential fixed investment, residential investment, and government purchases. Net exports were revised up to minus $400.7 billion from minus $409.4 billion.

The net effects of revisions to inventories and other components (notably net exports) leave demand numbers still relatively healthy. Final sales of domestic product were unrevised from the initial estimate of 3.6 percent. Final sales to domestic purchasers were down to 3.0 percent from the original estimate of 3.2 percent annualized.

Economy-wide inflation was unrevised at 2.5 percent and compares to the second quarter rise of 2.5 percent. The market median forecast was for 2.5 percent.

Turning to current quarter strengths and weakness (as opposed to component revisions), the economy was still gaining modest momentum. The acceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected accelerations in PCE and in nonresidential fixed investment, a smaller decrease in state and local government spending, a deceleration in imports, and an acceleration in exports that were partly offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment.

On the news, equity futures dipped modestly. Nonetheless, the key points today are that there is no significant change in underlying demand in the third quarter and recent monthly data indicate further strengthening.

Market Consensus before announcement
GDP in the third quarter improved to a 2.5 percent annualized increase, following an anemic 1.3 percent in the second quarter. The latest was the strongest growth rate since the third quarter of 2010-also posting at 2.5 percent. Demand numbers also improved as final sales of domestic product increased an annualized 3.6 percent in the third quarter after a 1.6 percent rise the prior quarter. Final sales to domestic purchasers (excludes net exports) gained 3.2 percent, following a 1.3 percent gain in the second quarter. Economy-wide inflation according to the GDP price index held steady at a 2.5 percent pace.

Definition
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the broadest measure of aggregate economic activity and encompasses every sector of the economy.  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
 

 

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/282/253/254/285/266/247/298/269/2910/2711/2212/22
Release For: Q4a:Q4p:Q4f:Q1a:Q1p:Q1f:Q2a:Q2p:Q2f:Q3a:Q3p:Q3f:
 
A: Advance P: Preliminary F: Final


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