Key Things to Watch as Data Backlog Ends

10/21/2013 9:00 am EST

Focus: CURRENCIES

The US government shutdown has pushed many key data releases off the calendar and Christopher Vecchio of DailyFX.com discusses the implications for currency markets.

One of the ramifications of the US government shutdown was that the statistics bureaus that compile and release US economic data were also closed. As such, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces the much-hallowed Nonfarm Payrolls report, has not released any data since October 1.

That will be resolved starting today when the backlog of US data starts to be released on a revised schedule:

chart
Click to Enlarge

There are a few things to consider for the calendar and data going forward, however. First and most important, the two-week government shutdown will impact October and November data as those figures will have smaller sample sizes (at least October data as only information during the second half of the month can be collected), and therefore, will be prone to greater reporting errors (especially as short-term distortions are amplified).

Incoming US economic data, especially for the 4Q'13, will be partially skewed as a result. Last Thursday, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland pointed out that the US government shutdown could impact the accuracy of data, going so far as to say the monthly Consumer Price Index release would be distorted for seven-months-until May.

The second, and far less significant issue ahead, is that several of the scheduled November releases will be pushed back to give ample cool down time between reporting periods (as noted in the BLS graphic above). Notably, the September NFP report will be released tomorrow; and the October NFP report has been pushed back from Friday, November 1, to Friday, November 8.

Chief currency strategist John Kicklighter notes that "[NFPs on a Tuesday] is a rare event that will help amplify the market-moving impact of this already hefty indicator as there is plenty of time to trade through the outcome rather than the market being forced to square for the weekend. Furthermore, the delay and economic impact of the shutdown has significantly altered the forecast for the Fed's eventual taper."

By Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst, DailyFX.com

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