2010 Economic Calendar
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GDP  
Released On 1/29/2010 8:30:00 AM For Q4a, 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Real GDP - Q/Q change - SAAR2.2 %4.5 %3.5 % to 5.7 %5.7 %
GDP price index - Q/Q change - SAAR0.4 %1.3 %0.6 % to 2.0 %0.6 %

Highlights
Fourth quarter advance estimate of gross domestic product was up more than expected at an annualized rate of 5.7 percent. This was the quickest growth rate in more than six years. Analysts had expected an increase of 4.5 percent. The fourth quarter gain primarily reflected a deceleration in inventory disinvestment (de-stocking), a deceleration in imports and an upturn in nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by decelerations in federal government spending and in PCE. Real final sales of domestic product - GDP less change in private inventories - increased 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the third.

The change in real private inventories added 3.4 percentage points to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.7 percentage point to the third-quarter change. Private businesses decreased inventories $33.5 billion in the fourth quarter, following decreases of $139.2 billion in the third quarter and $160.2 billion in the second.

Fourth quarter real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.0 percent compared with an increase of 2.8 percent in the third. Durable goods declined 0.9 percent, in contrast to an increase of 20.4 percent. Nondurable goods increased 4.3 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Services increased 1.7 percent, compared with an increase of 0.8 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 5.9 percent in the third. Nonresidential structures decreased 15.4 percent, compared with a decrease of 18.4 percent. Equipment and software increased 13.3 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 5.7 percent, compared with an increase of 18.9 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment edged up 0.1 percent after jumping 8 percent in the third.

Slower inventory depletion is not the most promising way to guarantee growth and may indicate a slower rate of growth ahead until companies become more confident about the recovery. The biggest challenge to sustainable growth still remains with employment.

Recent History Of This Indicator
GDP growth in the final estimate for the third quarter was revised downward to an annualized 2.2 percent from the prior estimate of 2.8 percent. Analysts are expecting a second consecutive quarter of positive growth and with momentum building moderately. Component estimates will be important, too. Net exports will likely add to GDP growth as well as inventory building. Key question marks will be how well consumer spending holds up, how strong will a second quarter of housing investment growth be, and how much does nonresidential investment decline?

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.
 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
 
 

2010 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/292/263/264/305/276/257/308/279/3010/2911/2312/22
Release For: Q4aQ4pQ4fQ1a:Q1p:Q1f:Q2a:Q2p:Q2f:Q3a:Q3p:Q3f:
 
A: Advance P: Preliminary F: Final


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