Learn How to Use the Economic Calendar
Stay updated on the important economic events affecting the Forex market. Real-time calendar covering releases, previous, forecast and actual figures.
Governments and other sectors around the world are constantly measuring and reporting on economic growth and data, and a reliable economic calendar is one of a trader's top tools.
The volatility created on a currency pair like the EUR/USD after key employment data like US Non-farm payrolls is announced can create big moves and price gaps. If prices gap 50 pips for example, it means within that 50-pip range there is no liquidity and you cannot exit a trade or enter a new one for the moment.
Having trades open during major economic or geopolitical news announcements can be risky. High volatility can occur within seconds of such news events.
Prior to the release of economic data, analysts try to forecast the results and a consensus estimate is formed. If the data is very important and the reported value is significantly different than estimates, high volatility can ensue.
At the beginning of each trading week, be sure to check the economic calendar for upcoming high and medium impact events using the impact icon next to the event name. High impact events use a red icon while medium impact events use an orange icon.
The "Impact" value on the calendar represents the potential for that report to impact the market. If the data released in an economic report is significantly different than what was forecast or expected, then the impact may be realized. Otherwise if the data is in line with expectations, the report may have little or no impact.
Traders typically check the upcoming economic events on the calendar for one of 2 reasons. The first is to avoid having open trades during potentially high volatility. The second is to use that volatility to look for nice entry and exit points on new or existing trades.
On most forex economic calendars, you will see the important values below.
Previous Month Value - Shows the results of the previous month, which may change because sometimes the prior month is adjusted. This surprise may cause volatility.
Forecast or Consensus Value - Shows the forecast based on a consensus of economic analysts.
Actual Value - Shows the actual report value and may cause volatility if it differs significantly from the forecast.
Impact - The magnitude of potential impact for a report is denoted with a coloured icon next to the event name. Red means high impact and orange means medium impact.
Check out our Forex Economic Calendar frequently to ensure you are always aware of high and medium impact upcoming events.