Last updated 23 Jul 2024, at 15:51:02

Economic Calendar: Filter by Market Impact, Date, & Country 

What is the Best Economic Calendar?

The best economic calendar is one that shows you the scheduled releases for the countries you're concerned with and allows you to filter by economic impact and date range.

Your economic calendar should also show you all the countries whose releases might affect the markets you trade in. For example, when trading in the US, the European economic news during US retail market hours can also affect US markets. In the same way, US economic releases may affect European market movements when they are open.

What is the Economic Calendar?

Economic calendars show you all the scheduled releases of data for each country included in the calendar. They should also show you holidays and other scheduled events related to economics and trading.

Economic calendar data releases for the US include:

  • FOMC Interest Rate Decision & Press Conference
  • CPI (Consumer Price Index) data
  • PPI (Producer Price Index) data
  • Non-Farm Payrolls data
  • ADP Unemployment data
  • ISM Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) data
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI
  • Building Permits data
  • Housing Starts data
  • New Home Sales & Existing Home Sales data
  • Retail Sales data
  • Michigan Consumer Sentiment data
  • Balance of Trade
  • Crude, Gasoline, & Natural Gas Inventories
  • Personal Income & Spending
  • GDP Growth Rate

...and many more...

The important part is to follow the calendar and look ahead several days or weeks in advance to see what's coming. If you see something marked as important and you're not familiar with it, do some learning about it ahead of time to prepare.

Save (bookmark this calendar) and look at it every morning, as well. Use the alarm clock on your phone or computer to set alarms to warn you when major events are about to happen, so you're ready to trade (or to get flat) and don't get caught unaware if you lose track of the time.

How Do You Trade With the Economic Calendar?

Economic calendars provide important trading information, whether you trade on news or not.

If you trade news-based strategies, of course you need to be prepared and ready to act once data is available. Knowing the scheduled times for that data is the bare minimum.

But what if you're not trading the news? You still need to know. The data releases on the economic calendar can move markets violently, and you need to act accordingly.

For example, let's say you're trading your normal strategy in a time period when the US Federal Reserve is actively raising or lowering interest rates. The FOMC decision is going to move the market one way or another. Volatility is almost guaranteed. You need to know when that's coming, so you can decide in advance whether you want to be flat when that release occurs, or if you want to hold your position through that release.

I have strategies that I trade based on the news, and strategies I trade that have nothing to do with news. For those non-news strategies, I usually want to get flat before a big release. Why? Let's look at the possible outcomes on an FOMC decision day:

  1. I could get lucky, and it the announcement could push the market nicely in my favor. If so, it will probably hit my target and I'll get out for a profit
  2. I could get unlucky, and the announcement could push the market against me, in which case I'll get stopped out - but not just a normal stop-out. Due to the violent moves from an FOMC release, my stop market order will experience large slippage. Maybe 10-20 NQ points of slippage. And I can't go without a stop, because the move against me could easily be an outsized move. These factors change my risk/reward for the trade, which is enough reason for me to be flat. 
  3.  It could stop me out and then go right back to my target. If my setup is to be long, I'd rather wait for a large sell-off from the release to get long at a better price, rather than being stopped out at that price.

Either way, it pays to know when these big data announcements are coming, so that you can prepare. You don't want to be caught off guard and take a big loss because of it.

I put economic calendar events in my computer's alarm clock every morning as part of my trading routine. I get alerted five minutes before any release that could cause volatility, so I can take that time to prepare. I might exit current positions and/or place orders to get filled for news-based trading strategies. I then have a second alarm for each event, triggered at the time of the release. It may be excessive, but it has saved and/or made me money many times.

What is the Economic Calendar for Forex?

The forex economic calendar is just an economic calendar which shows all the economic data releases expected in the coming weeks and days. The calendar above works for forex just as well as any other market. It should be used by traders of forex, futures, stocks, etfs, and bonds, to prepare for volatile times in advance. By preparing, traders can manage risk and seek opportunity based on expected volatility.

Is it Better to Trade in the Morning or Night?

Economic calendar events tend to be scheduled in the morning, either before retail trading begins or shortly after, with the exception of FOMC rate decisions. Data releases can provide a lot of volatility, which provides opportunities for traders.

Even if the economic calendar is empty, the best hours are those with the most volume. Fur US indices, the first couple hours of retail trading have the most volume, typically between 9:30-11am EST.

Disclaimer: Due to the always-changing nature of the financial market, the schedule of econ events, data, and releases changes constantly. I'm glad to share my economic calendar with you, but remember that due to external factors beyond my control, cannot be held responsible for any trading losses or other losses incurred as a result of using the economic calendar.

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Daniel Larsen

Daniel created to help new and experienced traders level up. He began trading in 2002, and has spent over a decade trading professionally, for prop firms and clients. When he's not at a computer, you can find him on the ocean, in a canyon, or in the mountains.