While all eyes will be on Bernanke at around 10 am, the first GDP revision will be quite a stressful number too should it come below 1% as many (but not the Wall Street consensus) predict. Elsewhere, millions of East Coasters will be feverishly hitting F5 on weather.com to see how much closer they are with insurance company busting destiny.
8:30: GDP (Q2-2nd): Small downward revision. Data released since the Commerce Department’s advance estimate of Q2 GDP point to a downward revision to 1.1% (quarter-over-quarter, annualized) from 1.3% previously reported. The downward revision mostly reflects weaker inventory building. Goldman expects final sales—GDP excluding the effects of inventories—to be revised up to 1.2% from 1.1% previously. Among the other components are weaker residential investment and net exports, offset by higher business investment, government spending and consumption.
GDP: GS: +1.1%; Consensus: +1.1%; Last (Q2-Adv) +1.3%.
9:55: Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment (August-final): Small gain? Higher-frequency measures of consumer sentiment have improved since the beginning of August, pointing to a stabilization or perhaps small increase in the University of Michigan sentiment index.
Consensus: 55.8; Last: 54.9 (August-prelim).
10:00: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak on “Near- and Long-term Prospects for the US Economy” at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole conference (no Q&A). Goldman expects three main elements in the speech: 1) a discussion of the Fed’s revised outlook, where it thinks the chairman could sound constructive relative to the market consensus; 2) a defense of the Fed’s previous easing actions, including the new 2013 commitment language; and 3) a discussion of easing options. With regard to the easing options, look for Bernanke to mention the potential for expanding or changing the composition of the Fed’s balance sheet, perhaps adding greater detail on the latter. A more comprehensive discussion of easing options is more likely to turn up in the FOMC minutes released Tuesday.