2017 Economic Calendar
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GDP  
Released On 11/29/2017 8:30:00 AM For Q3(p):2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR3.0 %3.3 %2.8 % to 3.5 %3.3 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR2.2 %2.2 %2.1 % to 2.2 %2.1 %
Real Consumer Spending – Q/Q change – SAAR2.4 %2.5 %2.4 % to 3.0 %2.3 %

Highlights
Third-quarter GDP proved even more solid than the first estimate, revised 3 tenths higher in the second estimate to an as-expected 3.3 percent annualized rate. Nonresidential investment and inventory growth added a little more in the second estimate while residential investment and net exports subtracted a little less. These offset a slightly smaller contribution from consumer spending, at a 2.3 percent rate vs 2.4 percent in the first estimate and expectations for 2.5 percent. The drop off on the consumer side was centered in durables which, despite a slight downgrade, still grew at an 8.1 percent rate getting a boost from hurricane-replacement demand for autos.

Turning back to inventories, whether builds are actually positive or negative for the outlook are always difficult to assess, but given this year's general strength in consumer and business demand, the third-quarter build is probably a positive for the outlook, suggesting that businesses were stocking up for strength ahead including for the holiday shopping season.

Consumer spending, despite auto sales, wasn't on fire in the third quarter though the outlook for the fourth quarter, given what are very high expectations for holiday spending, are positive. Early expectations for fourth-quarter GDP are once again in the 3 percent range.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The second estimate for third-quarter GDP is expected to come in at a 3.3 percent annualized rate vs 3.0 percent in the first estimate. Consumer spending is one of the expected pluses, seen at 2.5 percent vs the first estimate's 2.4 percent. The GDP price index is expected to remain unchanged at 2.2 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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