Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Economic Indicators

Today is 13th May, coincidently today is also the monthly Retail Sales and CPI figures release date for USA. I found out as I was reading this book 'Options made Easy' by Guy Cohen. One of the points mentioned in the book for basic Fundamental Analysis (FA) is key economic indicators. I listed the indicators here for reference purposes.

CPI: Consumer Price Index
The CPI is the most widely cited inflation indicator and is used as a measure of the price levels of goods and services purchased by consumers. The CPI is seen as the best measure of the underlying inflation rate in the USA economy. The figures are released at 8:30am EST around the thirteenth of every month, reporting with respect to the prior month.

The Employment Report
The Employment Report is made up of two separate surveys, the Household Survey (60,000 households) and the Establishment Survey (375,000 businesses); this report produces the unemployment rate figures. The Employment Report figures are release at 8:30am EST on the first Friday of every month, reporting with respect to the prior month.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The broad components of GDP are consumption, investment, net exports, government acquisitions, and inventories. GDP figures are released at 8:30am EST on the third or fourth week of the first month of the new quarter with respect to the prior quarter’s activity. Subsequent revisions are made in the second and third months of the quarter.

Housing Starts and Building Permits
Housing Starts are a measure of the number of residential units on which construction has begun each month. A start is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building and is comprised primarily of residential housing. Housing Starts are led by Building Permits (which allow the excavations to subsequently happen), but permits are not required is all regions of the USA; therefore, the Starts figure is more telling. The Housing Starts figures are notoriously volatile, being affected as they are by extreme weather and natural disasters. The figures are released at 8:30am EST around the sixteenth of the month, with respect to the previous month’s data.

National Association of Purchasing Managers (NAPM)
The NAPM report is a national survey of purchasing managers and is calculated by way of a weighted average of items including new orders, production, employment, inventories, delivery times, prices, and export and import orders. NAPM only covers the manufacturing sector, but is seen as a leading indicator for other economic releases. The figures are released at 10am EST on the first business day of each month with respect to the prior month’s data.

Producer Price Index (PPI)
The PPI is another measure of inflation. It measures the prices of goods at the wholesale level. The figures are released at 8:30 EST around the eleventh of each month, with respect to the prior month’s data.

Retail Sales
This is a measure of the total receipts of retail stores. Often analyzed excluding figures for automobiles, food and gasoline, it’s the changes from month to month here that we’re looking for to identify shifts in consumer demand. Retail sales figures exclude spending on services, which nowadays makes up over half of total consumption. Total personal consumption figures are normally available around two weeks after the Retail Sales figures are published. Retail Sales figures are published at 8:30am EST around the thirteenth of each month.

No comments: