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Forex Fundamental
US Economic Indicators & Statistics
Nonfarm Payrolls
FOMC Policy Announcements
Gross Domestic Product
The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)
Wholesale Inventories
Trade Balance
Initial Claims
Business Inventories
Industrial Production
Housing Starts and Building Permits
Beige Book
Philadelphia Fed Index
Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index - MCSI
Consumer Confidence
Existing Home Sales
Factory Orders
The Employment Report
Consumer Credit
Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Survey
Personal Income and Consumption
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Treasury Budget
Export Prices
Import Prices
CPI: Consumer Price Index
Leading Indicators
Durable Goods Orders
Regional Manufacturing Surveys 
Auto and Truck Sales 
Productivity and Costs 
Construction Spending 
New Home Sales
 
Gross Domestic Product-GDP
Release Date: Last Day of the Quarter 
Release Time: 8:30AM EST 
Coverage: Previous Quarter 
Released By: Commerce Department 

GDP represents the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year. It includes consumption, government purchases, investments, and the trade balance (exports minus imports). It is the broadest indicator of the economic output and growth, and probably the most important indicator of the economic wellbeing of a country.

While measured annually, monthly statistics are also released. GDP reflects how fast a country's economy is growing. The U.S. GDP growth has historically averaged about 2.5-3% per year but with substantial deviations. Increasing inventories can indicate that growth is slowing, or consumer demand is changing. Meanwhile the "constant dollar GDP", also known the real GDP, represents the quantity of economic output, which is used in measuring the overall rate of economic growth.

Each initial GDP report is revised twice before the final figure is settled upon: The Commerce Department releases an advance report followed by the preliminary report about a month later and a final report a month after that. Significant revisions to the advance number can move the markets. The GDP numbers are reported in two forms: current dollar and constant dollar. Current dollar GDP equals the market value of goods and services produced. It is calculated using today's dollars and makes comparisons between time periods difficult because of the effects of inflation. Constant dollar GDP, also known the real GDP, solves this problem by converting the current information into some standard era dollar. This compensates for the effects of inflation and allows easy comparisons between periods. Constant dollar GDP represents the quantity of economic output, which is used in measuring the overall rate of economic growth.

Gross Domestic Product vs. Gross National Product (GNP). GDP only includes goods and services produced within the geographic boundaries of the United States, regardless of the producer's nationality. GNP does not include goods and services produced by foreign producers, but does include goods and services produced by U.S. firms based abroad. GDP replaced gross national product (GNP) as the primary measure of U.S. production in 1991. 

Market Reaction:
Event - Dollar
GDP Up - Dollar Up
GDP Down - Dollar Down
 
The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)
PMI measures how well the manufacturing sector is doing. PMI's index is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries, and employment. 

Released By: Institute for Supply Management (ISM) - Formerly the National Association of Purchasing Managers (NAPM) the first business day of the month, 10:00am EST. The markets usually react as follows:

Fixed Income:
NAPM up = Bond Market down NAPM down = Bond Market up

Equities:
NAPM up = Stock Market up NAPM down = Stock Market down

Dollar:
NAPM up = Dollar up NAPM down = Dollar down
 
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Importance: Moderate
Volatility: Moderate
Source: Bureau of Labor statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 11th of each month
Coverage: Prior Month.
Web: http://www.census.gov/svsd/www/advtable.html 
The Producer Price Index is the first inflation indicator each month.

Market Reaction:
Event - Dollar
PPI Up - Unclear
PPI Down - Unclear
 
Personal Income and Consumption
Importance: High. 
Source: The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce. 
Release Time: 8:30 ET the fourth week of each month (data for the month prior). 
Volatility: Medium.

Web: http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/rels.htm 

The Commerce Department releases the Personal Income and Consumption figures the fourth week of each month, the day after GDP figures are published, using data from the previous month. Personal income is used to guage future consumer demand. The largest component of Personal income is wages and salaries. Other categories include rental income, government subsidy payments, interest income, and dividend income. A component of this figure covers personal consumption expenditures or PCE. PCE is comprised of three categories: durables, nondurables, and services.

Market Reaction: 

Event - Dollar
Personal Income Up - Dollar Up
Consumption Up - Dollar Up 
Personal Income Down - Dollar Down
Consumption Down - Dollar Down
 
Wholesale Inventories
Importance: Low. 
Source: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce
Release Time: 10:00 ET around the fifth business day of the month 
Web: http://www.census.gov/svsd/www/mwts.html
Coverage: Data from two months prior. 
This release includes sales and inventory statistics from the second stage of the manufacturing process. The sales figures do not move the market as they do not reflect personal consumption. Wholesale inventories may change the aggregate inventory profile which can influence the GDP forecast.


Trade Balance
Source: The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce. 
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 20th of the month (data for two months prior). 
Raw Data Available At: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/press.html 
The trade balance of a country is the difference in the value of its imports and exports. Export data can give an important reflection of U.S. growth. Imports provide an indication of domestic demand, but this figure is late relative to other consumption indicators.
The Trade Balance release influences GDP forecasts. Net exports are a relatively volatile component of GDP. Trade Balance gives an early indication of the net export performance each quarter.


Treasury Budget
Importance: Low.
Volatility: Low.
Source: U.S. Treasury Department
Release Time: 14:00 ET, about the third week of the month.
Coverage: Prior Month.
Web: http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/index.html 
The market analyses of the monthly Treasury data deals largely with year/year changes in receipts and outlays. April is the most important month for tax inflows to the Treasury. The data in the Treasury Budget can be forecast with some accuracy using daily data in the Daily Treasury Statement.
 
Export Prices
Source: The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce. 
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 20th of the month (data for two months prior). 
Raw Data Available At: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/press.html 


Import Prices
Source: The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce. 
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 20th of the month (data for two months prior). 
Raw Data Available At: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/press.html
 
Initial Claims
Source: The Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor. 
Release: 8:30 ET each Thursday. Data is for week ended prior Saturday. 
Web: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/main.htm 
Initial jobless claims reflects the number of claims filed for state unempolyment benefits in the previous week. Increases in claims potential reflect slowing job growth, and decreases reflect accellerating growth in the job market. Due to the volatility of the number, many analysts look at a four week moving average. Look for a move of at least 30K in claims to indicate a significant change in job growth. 


Business Inventories
Importance: Low.
Source: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce
Release Time: 08:30 ET around the 15th of the month.
Coverage: Two Months Prior.
Volatility: Moderate.
The business inventories release includes sales and inventory statistics from the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail stages of the manufacturing process.


Industrial Production
Importance: Moderate
Volatility: Low
Source: Federal Reserve
Release Time: 9:15 ET around the 15th of the month.
Coverage: Prior Month.
The Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Report describe what is going on in the manufacturing sector. These figures are not difficult to predict, and therefore have a low impact on the market.


CPI: Consumer Price Index
Importance: Moderate
Volatility: Moderate
Source: Bureau of Labor statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
Release Time: 8:30 ET, about the 13th of each month.
Coverage: Prior Month.
Web: http://stats.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.toc.htm 
CPI is seen by many as the most important measure of inflation. The Consumer Price Index measures the price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased at a consumer level. 

Market Reaction:
Event - Dollar
CPI Up - Uncertain
CPI Down - Uncertain


Housing Starts and Building Permits
Importance: Moderate.
Volatility: Moderate.
Published by: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 16th of the month.
Coverage: Prior Month.
Web: http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/housing.html 
Housing Starts/Building Permits is a leading indicator of economic activity.

Event - Dollar
Housing Starts Up - Little Impact 
Housing Starts Down - Little Impact 


Beige Book
Importance: Medium.
Published by: Federal Reserve Board
Frequency: Two Wednesdays before every FOMC meeting, 8 times per year 
Release Time: 2PM ET
Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/frbindex.htm

Revisions: None. 
Commonly known as the Beige Book, the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District is prepared prior to scheduled meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). 
Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis. 

Calendar of Releases: http://www.federalreserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/2003/


Leading Indicators
Source: The Conference Board. 
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the first few business days of the month for two months prior. 
Web: http://www.tcb-indicators.org/ 
The Leading Indicators report is largely a composite of prior indicators such as new orders, jobless claims, money supply, average workweek, building permits, and stock prices. Because the report is highly predictable it is less likely to move the market dramatically. 
The Federal Reserve watches leading indicators to aid decision making policy on interest rates.


Philadelphia Fed Index
Release Date: Around the 17th of the month 
Release Time: 10:00am EST 
Coverage: Previous Month's Data 
Released By: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 
Latest Release: http://www.phil.frb.org/econ/bos/bosschedule.html 
The Philadelphia Fed Index, also known as the Business Outlook Survey, is a monthly survey of manufacturers located around the three states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.


Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index - MCSI
The MCSI,conducted by the University of Michigan, is a valuable guide to changes in consumer attitudes that may influence spending behavior. The preliminary data is released on the tenth (except on weekends) of each month. A final report for the prior month is released on the first of the month.

FOMC Policy Announcements
When: FOMC meeting dates or whenever policy changes are made (usually monthly)
Release Time: Around 2:15PM on FOMC meeting dates
Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/ 


Consumer Confidence
Source: The Conference Board. 
Release Time: 10:00 ET on the last Tuesday of the month (data for current month). 
Web: http://www.tcb-indicators.org/ 
Consumer Confidence is based on a monthly survey of 5000 households. The report reflects changes in consumption patterns. Index changes of at least five points are considered significant. The index consists of two subindexes: consumers' appraisal of current conditions (40% of the total index) and future expectations (60% of the total index). Moving averages of 3-6 months are sometimes used to spot changes in trend and eliminate noise. The Federal Reserve pays close attention to Consumer Confidence when determining interest rates.


Existing Home Sales
Source: The National Association of Realtors. 
Release Time: 10:00 ET around the 25th of the month (data for month prior). 
Web: http://www.realtor.org/Research.nsf/Pages/EHSdata 
The Existing Homes Sales survey shows the level of sales for existing homes, and reflects the demand for housing. Released by the National Association of Realtors Existing Home Sales is preceeded by Housing starts, a supply side indicator, and followed by the demand-side indicator of housing, New Home Sales.


Durable Goods Orders
Source: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. 
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 26th of the month (data for month prior). 
Web: http://www.census.gov/ftp/pub/indicator/www/m3/index.htm 
Durable Goods Orders reflect the dollar volume of orders, shipments, and unfilled orders of durable goods. Orders are believed to be a leading indicator of activity in the manufacturing sector because manufacturers need orders before increasing production. Orders data is exremely volatile. The data is also known to be prone to large revisions when the complete information becomes available the following week.


Regional Manufacturing Surveys
Source: Purchasing managers' organizations and Federal Reserve banks. 
Release: Philadelphia Fed is released at 10 ET on the third Thursday of the month for the current month. Chicago PMI is released on the last business day of the month for the current month. 
Providing a broad measure of national manufacturing activities, the regional manufacturing surveys include The Philadelphia Fed's survey and the Chicago purchasing managers' report.


Auto and Truck Sales
Importance: Medium.
Source: Individual auto manufacturers, seasonal factors by the Commerce Department. 
Volatility: Moderate.
Release: Date varies by auto maker from the first business day to the third business day of the month. Data is for month prior. 
The Auto and Truck Sales data measures the monthly sales of all domestically produced vehicles. These sales comprise approximately 25% of total retail sales. The demand for autos and trucks is interest rate sensitive and a leading indicator of consumer demand.

Market Reaction:
Event - Dollar
Auto Sales Up - Dollar Up
Auto Sales Down - Dollar Down


New Home Sales
Source: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. 
Release Time: 10:00 ET around the last business day of the month. Data is for prior month. 
Web: http://www.census.gov/const/newressales.pdf
The New Home Sales report measures the level of new privately owned one-family houses sold and for sale. Historically, changes in consumer spending have appeared first in autos and housing. If the sales of new homes weakens, housing starts will suffer and this will in turn affect employment in the construction industry. In this way slowing home sales can be a leading indicator of a coming recession. Conversly, in a strengthening economy, housing and autos are normally the first to benefit. The home sales report is volatile and often sees significant revisions. The existing home sales report, which has a sample data pool four times as large and is released earlier in the month is more likely to cause a market reaction. 

Nonfarm Payrolls
Importance: Highest.
Published by: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
Release: First Friday of the month at 8:30 ET for the prior month.
Web: http://stats.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm 
The Non Farm Payrolls release - the change in non farm employment from the establishment data - is the most closely followed economic statistic for the stock and bond markets. The numbers that make up this part of the Employment Report use payroll records - furnishing the most concrete evidence of whether the US is creating jobs.
It is important to note that the change in Non Farm Payrolls includes government jobs - so for a clearer picture of the situation in the private business sector, government positions need to be factored out.


Construction Spending
Source: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. 
Release: 10:00 ET on the first business day of the month. Data for prior two months. 
Volatility: High.
Web: http://www.census.gov/prod/1/constr/c30/c30.html 
The construction spending report is comprised of residential, non-residential, and public expenditures on new construction. Construction spending represents 20% of GNP and the figures are volatile and subject to large revisions. Consequently, the figures are more often used as a market indicator when significant changes take place over a period of months.


Productivity and Costs
Importance: Low.
Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor
Release: 8:30 ET around the 7th of the second month of the quarter. Data is for prior quarter. 
Web: http://stats.bls.gov/news.release/prod2.toc.htm
This release seldom has a dramatic impact on the market due to the fact that GDP provides a reliable reflection of productivity growth.


Factory Orders
Importance: Low. 
Source: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. 
Release: 10:00 ET around the first business day of the month. Data is for prior two months. 
Volatility: High.
Web: http://www.census.gov/ftp/pub/indicator/www/m3/index.htm 
The factory orders release is made up of the already announced durable goods report in addition to the new component of non-durable goods orders (items such items as food, clothing, gasoline and tobacco products). Revisions to the volatile durable orders data, which can be significant, are also watched in this release. Factory inventories are also included in the report, and this figure is used in forecasting inventories in the quarterly GDP report. Keeping watch on inventories is significant because a buildup may cause a recession. The Factory Orders report is important because it reflects the pace of production in upcoming months.

Market Reaction:
Event - Dollar
Factory Orders Up - No Reaction
Factory Orders Down - No Reaction


The Employment Report
Importance: Highest.
Published by: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
Frequency: Monthly.
Release Time: First Friday of the month at 8:30 ET
Coverage: Prior Month.
Web: http://stats.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm 
Prior to the Employment Report we have only received the Auto Sales and Purchasing Managers Index and analysts have relatively little information to use in forecasting the direction of the economy. The monthly Employment Report is the most timely and broad indicator of economic activity and overall economic health. It provides a wealth of data on almost all sectors of the economy. The report is made up of two separate reports which are the results of two separate surveys. 
Firstly, the Household Survey covers roughly 60,000 households and 120,000 people and tells us the unemployment rate. For the purposes of this survey, a person is considered unemployed if they do not have a job and are actively seeking employment. 
Secondly, the Establishment or Payroll Survey covers 375,000 businesses, producing the nonfarm payrolls, average workweek, and average hourly earnings figures. Being larger and more comprehensive, the establishment survey is more closely watched. Payrolls are broken down into sectors including manufacturing, mining, construction, services, and government. The manufacturing sector is closely followed as it often leads the business cycle. A person is considered employed if they are on a firms payroll for any part of the pay period that includes the survey week. Federal government employment is an exception, being measured at the end of each month.
The average workweek is an important determinant of such monthly indicators as industrial production and personal income. Average workweek also reflects labor market conditions. A rising workweek early in the business cycle may indicate that employers are preparing to boost their payrolls, while late in the cycle a rising workweek may suggest that employers are having difficulty finding employees. Average earnings are used to gauge potential inflation. Broadly speaking, the employment report helps to forecast many other indicators. For example, a weak Employment Report can suggest a disappointing Retail Sales Report.

Market Reaction:
Event - Dollar
Payroll Employment Up - Dollar Up
Unemployment Rate Up - Dollar Down
Payroll Employment Down - Dollar Down
Unemployment Rate Down - Dollar Up


Consumer Credit
Source: Federal Reserve.
Release Time: 15:00 ET on the fifth business day of the month.
Coverage: Two months prior. 
The Consumer Credit release reflects consumer debt on a monthly basis. The data is volatile and sees significant revisions. The market is rarely moved by this release.


Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Survey
Importance: High.
Published by: Institute for Supply Management.
Frequency: Monthly.
Release Time: 10 AM Eastern Time, the first business day after the reporting month.
Coverage: Prior month.
Web: http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/index.cfm
Revisions: No monthly revisions. 
This manufacturing focused survey is the first report of the month on the economy.