Currency Trading for Beginners: Top Forex Statistics
Economic indicators and statistics are a very important part of staying on top of the constantly changing value of a currency pair. The United States has many agencies that release a number of important market moving statistics on a scheduled basis that can have a great impact on many financial markets and currency pairs.
Forex Market Moving Statistics
There are many economic reports released in the United States that can have a significant impact on forex markets and other financial markets as well. The following is a compilation of most of the market moving reports that track the stability, health and growth of the U.S. economy and therefore value of the U.S. dollar. Almost all are released on a monthly basis with the exception of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report, the F.O.M.C. meeting minutes which are released eight times yearly, and the Housing Affordability Index being released quarterly. All of the following reports can cause immediate short-term volatility when released and their results can change the direction of any currency pairs involving the U.S. dollar.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the part of the U.S. Department of Labor responsible for collecting and analysing economic data on current labor market and working conditions as well as key inflation indicators. The following reports can have market moving results.
Employment Situation is released monthly and includes both non-farm payroll numbers and unemployment rate.
NFP is the number of jobs added to the economy excluding farm workers, non-profit organizations, and private household employees.
The unemployment rate is derived from the Household Survey which is made up of data collected from 60,000 households. Unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of people unemployed by the number of people working or actively looking for work.
Consumer Price Index
CPI is a measure in inflation based on the change in price of a set amount of goods and services from the time of reference until now. The time of reference is represented by a value of 100 meaning that a current value above 100 equates to higher prices as compared to the time of reference. The rate of inflation is represented by the monthly change in CPI.
Producer Price Index
PPI is a measure of the change in prices received by domestic producers for goods and services. PPI is similar to CPI but from the perspective of the seller as opposed to the consumer.
Employment Cost Index
This indicator measures the total cost to an employer for employee wages and benefits.
Productivity and Costs
Productivity is a measure of increasing or decreasing efficiency of labor to produce goods and services. Costs refer to the labor cost of outputting one unit.
Import and Export Price Indexes
These two indexes measure the changing price of imported goods or goods produced outside US borders and brought into the United States for sale and exported goods or goods produced by the United States that are sold outside US borders.
Department of Labor
The Department of Labor is responsible for unemployment insurance and therefore releases one important report on a weekly basis.
Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims
The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims or Jobless Claims report is released every Thursday at 8:30am EDT. This report tracks the number new unemployment insurance claims being filed.
Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is the agency within the United Stated Department of Commerce that provides data on US domestic production, consumption, and investment. National income and savings as well as imports and exports numbers are available. The following reports can have an impact on market direction and are accessible through the BEA.
Gross Domestic Product
GDP covers the entire economy as a very broad measurement of economic activity. Estimates are released on a monthly basis for the previous quarter. Since GDP is such a broad measure of economic health, released data does not need to deviate far from consensus to have a major impact on markets.
Personal Income and Outlays
The first part of this economic indicator, person income, is a measure of the total value of all income received by individuals. The second, outlays, refers to purchases made by individuals or expenses. The two together give a value for disposable income available.
International Trade in Goods and Services
In this report a value for trade surplus or deficit is given. If import values are higher than export values then there is a trade deficit and when exports are greater than imports, a trade surplus exists.
The Census Bureau is an agency within the United States Department of Commerce that provides data based on many economic and demographic surveys. A number of important economic indicators are released on a schedule from the Census Bureau that can have a significant impact on markets.
Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services (Retail Sales)
The Monthly Retail Trade Survey is the source of data for this indicator. Retail Sales covers consumer spending on the retail sales of non-durable and durable goods. Roughly two thirds of the GDP can be accounted for by consumer spending making this indicator a very important measure of economic growth.
Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales (Business Inventories)
The dollar amount of all inventory from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers is know as Business Inventories. The relationship between inventory levels and sales is a strong indicator of future production requirements and activity.
International Trade in Goods and Services
International Trade involves the imports and exports of goods and services. It is given in national amounts for export, import and trade balance values. Oil and motor vehicle import values are reported in detail. Many other specific categories are reported as well, but the headline value for this indicator is the trade balance level reporting a trade deficit or surplus.
Advance Report on Durable Goods Manufacturers Shipments, Inventories and Orders (Durable Goods Orders)
Durable goods orders reports the amount of new orders submitted to domestic manufacturers for factory produced goods.
Construction spending reports the dollar value of residential, non-residential, and public new construction projects.
New Residential Sales
New residential sales is a measure of the amount of sales of newly constructed homes. The values given in this report have some correlation to consumer purchases of furniture and appliances as well as an indication of economic momentum and housing market trends.
New Residential Construction
This report, also known as housing starts, quantifies new residential construction starts that have begun excavation of the foundation.
The Federal Reserve or the Fed refers to the central banking system of the United States. There are twelve Federal Reserve banks operating in major cities across the USA. The Fed conducts monetary policy in order to maximize employment, stabilize prices and moderate long term interest rates. Meetings are held eight times per year by the Federal Open Market Committee to discuss the economic condition of the United States and what changes, if any, should be made to monetary policy to make improvement. A statement made by the chair of the Federal Reserve Board will be given at the conclusion of the meetings with a brief summary of any key decisions followed three weeks later by the release of the official meeting minutes. Any change to monetary policy made by the FOMC can have significant impact on the forex markets as well as any speeches or statements made by any of the Federal Reserve officials, especially the chair.
Consumer credit is a dollar value of all outstanding consumer installment credit. The amount of consumer credit is an indication of consumer finances and future spending patterns.
Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization
Industrial production and capacity utilization are both measures of real output as a percentage as compared to a reference or base year. Industrial production refers to the output of manufacturing and mining as well as gas and electric utilities. Capacity utilization is given as a percentage of an estimate of full potential sustainable output.
FOMC Meeting Minutes
Meeting minutes are released three weeks after the conclusion of each Federal Open Market Committee meeting which is held eight times per year. Analysts will carefully comb through the meeting minutes for any clue to future monetary policy. The release of the minutes can have a very significant impact on all financial markets.
Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury collects money due, pays all bills and manages federal government revenue of the United States.
Monthly Treasury Statement
The monthly treasury statement is released on the 8th business day of every month and accounts for the surplus or deficit of the federal government.
National Association of Realtors
The National Association of Realtors is a group of residential and commercial realtors, brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others who are involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
Existing Home Sales
Existing home sales is released around the 25th of each month and includes home sales price and volume statistics excluding newly constructed homes.
Pending Home Sales
Housing Affordability Index
The Housing Affordability Index is released quarterly and reports the ability of a median income earning family to purchase a median priced home.
For a complete list of links to all of the above reports and release schedules as well as a link to a very popular financial calendar come to www.thesmartforex.com/forexstatistics.html
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am an active trader in the foreign exchange that has a strong desire to have my money work for me as opposed to working for it. Surely, many of you feel the same way but jumping into something like currency trading using leverage without knowing the risks and how to deal with them is a sure way to guarantee that you work for your money for a long time to come. It is my goal to help new traders to acquire the base of knowledge necessary to not only financially survive, but become well equipped to succeed. The ability to make money online and release yourself from needing an income that is based on your physical location is the beginning of true freedom.