2017 Economic Calendar
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Released On 12/21/2017 8:30:00 AM For Q3(f):2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR3.3 %3.3 %3.1 % to 3.4 %3.2 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR2.1 %2.1 %2.1 % to 2.1 %2.1 %
Real Consumer Spending – Q/Q change – SAAR2.3 %2.3 %2.2 % to 2.4 %2.2 %

The third estimate puts third-quarter GDP at a very solid 3.2 percent annualized rate though the gain isn't based on consumer spending which rose at only a 2.2 percent pace. What held up the quarter was a very solid 4.7 percent showing for nonresidential fixed investment in what was the third straight strong reading for this key measurement of business spending.

Other positives included a constructive build in inventories and a nearly as constructive improvement in net exports as exports rose and imports fell. Government spending was very soft, at a 0.7 percent rate, while residential investment contracted sharply, at 4.7 percent for a second straight sizable decline.

But residential investment looks to rise sharply in the fourth quarter given the enormous gains underway in the new home market while fourth-quarter GDP, perhaps also boosted by acceleration in consumer spending, looks to roughly match the third quarter in what would be the third straight 3 percent quarter for GDP.

Consensus Outlook
The third estimate for third-quarter GDP is expected to come in at a 3.3 percent annualized rate and unchanged from the second estimate. Consumer spending, also seen unchanged at 2.3 percent, provided some lift but the quarter really depended on an inventory build as well as strength in nonresidential investment and improvement in net exports. The GDP price index is seen unchanged a 2.1 percent rate.

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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