Category: Economic news

Gross domestic product

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced in a period (quarterly or yearly). Nominal GDP estimates are commonly used to determine the economic performance of a whole country or region, and to make international comparisons. Nominal GDP per capita does not, however, reflect differences in the cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries; therefore using a basis of GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) is arguably more useful when comparing differences in living standards between nations.

Economic calendar

An economic calendar is used by investors to monitor market-moving events, such as economic indicators and monetary policy decisions. Market-moving events, which are typically announced or released in a report, have a high probability of impacting the financial markets.

An economic calendar is usually displayed as a chart showing the days, weeks and months of a particular year. Each day lists several market-moving events in chronological order, giving investors time to research and anticipate the specific release of interest to them.

Consumer price index

A consumer price index (CPI) measures changes in the price level of market basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households.

The CPI is a statistical estimate constructed using the prices of a sample of representative items whose prices are collected periodically. Sub-indices and sub-sub-indices are computed for different categories and sub-categories of goods and services, being combined to produce the overall index with weights reflecting their shares in the total of the consumer expenditures covered by the index. It is one of several price indices calculated by most national statistical agencies. The annual percentage change in a CPI is used as a measure of inflation. A CPI can be used to index (i.e., adjust for the effect of inflation) the real value of wages, salaries, pensions, for regulating prices and for deflating monetary magnitudes to show changes in real values. In most countries, the CPI, along with the population census, is one of the most closely watched national economic statistics.

Nonfarm payrolls

Nonfarm payroll employment is a compiled name for goods, construction and manufacturing companies in the US. It does not include farm workers, private household employees, or non-profit organization employees.

It is an influential statistic and economic indicator released monthly by the United States Department of Labor as part of a comprehensive report on the state of the labor market.

The financial assets most affected by the NFP data include the US dollar, equities and gold. The markets react very quickly and most of the time in a very volatile fashion around the time the NFP data is released. The short-term market moves indicate that there is a very strong correlation between the NFP data and the strength of the US dollar. Historical price movement data shows a small negative correlation between the NFP data and the US dollar Index.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases preliminary data on the third Friday after the conclusion of the reference week, i.e., the week which includes the 12th of the month, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time; typically this date occurs on the first Friday of the month. Nonfarm payroll is included in the monthly Employment Situation or informally the jobs report and affects the US dollar, the Foreign exchange market, the bond market, and the stock market.

The figure released is the change in nonfarm payrolls (NFP), compared to the previous month, and is usually between +10,000 and +250,000 during non-recessional times. The NFP number is meant to represent the number of jobs added or lost in the economy over the last month, not including jobs relating to the farming industry.

Basics of fundamental analysis

Fundamental analysis is a method of evaluating a security in an attempt to measure its intrinsic value, by examining related economic, financial and other qualitative and quantitative factors. Fundamental analysts study anything that can affect the security’s value, including macroeconomic factors such as the overall economy and industry conditions, and microeconomic factors such as financial conditions and company management. The end goal of fundamental analysis is to produce a quantitative value that an investor can compare with a security’s current price, thus indicating whether the security is undervalued or overvalued.