2016 Economic Calendar
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GDP  
Released On 4/28/2016 8:30:00 AM For Q1a:2016
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR1.4 %0.7 %0.1 % to 1.1 %0.5 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR0.9 %0.5 %0.4 % to 1.1 %0.7 %

Highlights
Consumer spending, largely on services, helped hold up first-quarter real GDP which came in at an annualized plus 0.5 percent rate and just below the Econoday consensus for 0.7 percent. Consumer spending (personal consumption expenditures) rose at a 1.9 percent rate, down only 5 tenths from the fourth quarter. Within this, spending on services rose an in-trend 2.7 percent to offset a 1.6 percent decline in durable goods which were hit by weak vehicle sales.

Residential investment, up 14.8 percent, is a highlight of the report and helped offset a sharp 5.9 percent decline in nonresidential investment where weak energy drilling is taking a big toll. Inventories rose in the quarter but at a slower rate which is a negative for GDP while exports, reflecting weak global demand, were a negative for a second quarter in a row. Government purchases were a small plus in the quarter.

Price data are mixed with the price index up only 0.7 percent in the quarter, down 2 tenths from the fourth quarter. But the core deflator is up, 7 tenths higher to plus 1.9 percent which should get some attention.

The consumer bailed out the first quarter, both on services and also on fixing on their homes. But otherwise the report points to nearly no momentum going into the Spring quarter.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The first estimate for first-quarter GDP is expected to come in at only plus 0.7 percent in what would be the weakest result since plus 0.6 percent in the first-quarter last year. But unlike last year, this year's first quarter was not hit by severe weather which underscores how soft the quarter likely was. Consumer spending, though soft, may improve slightly while residential investment, which has been strong, may slow. Inventories are expected to pull down GDP as businesses destocked. Net exports may also be a negative. The GDP price index is expected to further soften, to only plus 0.5 percent from 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

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
 
 

2016 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/292/263/254/285/276/287/298/269/2910/2811/2912/22
Release For: Q4a:2015Q4p:2015Q4f:2015Q1a:2016Q1p:2016Q1f:2016Q2a:2016Q2p:2016Q2f:2016Q3a:2016Q3p:2016Q3f:2016
 
A: Advance P: Preliminary F: Final


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