2016 Economic Calendar
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Released On 12/22/2016 8:30:00 AM For Q3(f):2016
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR3.2 %3.3 %3.2 % to 3.4 %3.5 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR1.4 %1.4 %1.4 % to 1.4 %1.4 %

The third-quarter lived up to its early expectations, rising with each new revision to an inflation-adjusted 3.5 percent annualized rate for the best showing in two years. The consumer was the driving force in the quarter, spending at a 3.0 percent rate (up from 2.7 percent in the prior estimate) on top of the second quarter's very strong 4.3 percent rate. Exports, benefiting from agricultural, were another positive as was nonresidential fixed investment which got an upgrade in the latest estimate to show a plus 1.4 percent annualized rate. Inventories also added to the quarter, but less so than prior estimates which is a positive for fourth-quarter production and employment. The GDP price index is unrevised at 1.4 percent. The fourth-quarter, held down by a reversal for exports and perhaps by less strength in consumer spending, isn't quite tracking as strongly as the third quarter proved to be.

Consensus Outlook
The third estimate of third-quarter GDP is expected to come in little changed, at plus 3.3 percent vs 3.2 percent for the second estimate. Consumer spending was an important contributor to the third quarter, rising at a 2.8 percent annualized rate (based on the second estimate) and providing momentum for the early part of the fourth quarter. Improvement in the trade gap was another positive for the quarter. The GDP price index is expected to come in unchanged at a modest 1.4 percent.

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

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