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This Week’s Major Economic Events – Week 48

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1. Gross Domestic Product

Wednesday, November 25 at 8:30 AM ET

The second reading of third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) will be released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP is a measure of the economic conditions of a country during a set period of time. There are generally three readings of the same quarter, as more data is released. It’s the broadest measure of the economic health of the country and a good indicator of how things are faring. Keep in mind that the data lags and doesn’t necessarily reflect the current economic conditions.

Why it’s important: This month’s reading of third-quarter GDP is a confirmation of the preliminary results posted last month. The data showed that the U.S. had recovered from its fall in the prior months due to the Covid-19 recession. The numbers posted on Thursday are not expected to change, but if they do, markets could move.

2. Durable Goods Orders

Wednesday, November 25 at 8:30 AM ET

Durable goods are a measure of the change in new orders manufacturing items. Core durable goods exclude aircraft and transportation, as it’s more volatile. The monthly figures from the U.S. Census Bureau are an economic indicator as it gives insight into the supply chain. A high number indicates the economy is doing well, while a low number indicates the economy is on a downward trajectory.

Why it’s important: When businesses are confident or think that consumers are going to start spending more, they tend to prepare by ordering goods. That’s why durable goods are such a closely watched number. It can tell investors if the economy is on it’s way to an upward or downward swing.

3. Jobless Claims

Wednesday, November 25 at 8:30 AM ET

Released every week, the initial and ongoing jobless claims are reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. It includes people filing for unemployment insurance benefits in the prior week. There are two types- initial which includes people filing for the first time and continuing, which consists of those who have received benefits before.

Why it’s important: Jobless claims are a leading indicator of the current employment situation in the country and the health of the economy. This data is a precursor to the monthly unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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