CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Economic Calendar: How to use it in your strategy

Reading time: 3 minute(s)

Using an economic calendar as part of your trading or investment strategy can be valuable for staying informed about important economic events and their potential impact on financial markets.

What is an Economic Calendar?

An economic calendar is a tool that can be used to help you make informed decisions. By understanding which economic events are scheduled to be released and how they are likely to impact the markets, you can position yourself to take advantage of potential opportunities.

How to use the calendar in your strategy

To use the calendar in your strategy there are certain steps you need to take:

  • Select a Reliable Economic Calendar: You have to choose a reputable economic calendar that provides accurate and timely information. Several financial websites and platforms offer economic calendars, such as Bloomberg, or Forex Factory. Ensure the calendar you choose covers the relevant markets and provides comprehensive data. 
  • Identify Key Economic Events: Economic calendars list various events, including economic indicators, central bank meetings, speeches by policymakers, and other significant announcements. Focus on events that are relevant to your trading instruments or investment portfolio. Common examples include GDP releases, employment reports, interest rate decisions, and inflation data.
  • Understand Market Expectations: The economic calendar typically includes market consensus or forecasts for each event. These expectations are crucial because the market's reaction often depends on whether the actual data released meets, exceeds, or falls short of these forecasts. Pay attention to any revisions or changes in expectations leading up to the event.
  • Assess Potential Market Impact: Determine the potential impact of each economic event on the markets. High-impact events, such as central bank decisions or employment reports, tend to have a more significant effect on market volatility and direction. Low-impact events might have minimal market impact or may be overshadowed by other factors.
  • Consider Correlations: Analyse how specific economic events have historically influenced the prices of related assets. For example, interest rate decisions can affect currency exchange rates, while oil inventories may impact energy sector stocks.Understanding these correlations can help you anticipate market reactions and make more informed trading decisions.
  • Implement Risk Management Measures: Economic events can introduce volatility and uncertainty into the markets. Implementing appropriate risk management measures, such as setting stop-loss orders or position-sizing based on potential volatility, can help mitigate potential losses.
  • Monitor Real-Time Data: Stay updated with real-time data releases and market reactions during the economic event. News feeds, financial news websites, or trading platforms can provide live updates and analysis. Monitor how the actual data compares to market expectations and be prepared to adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Evaluate the Market Response: After the economic event, assess how the market has reacted and analyse whether it aligns with your expectations. Consider the short-term and long-term implications of the event on your trading or investment positions.
  • Review and Adapt: Continuously review the impact of economic events on your strategy's performance. Identify any patterns, refine your approach, and adapt your strategy accordingly. Over time, you may discover which events have the most significant impact on your preferred trading instruments or investment assets.
  • Customise your calendar: Not all traders are interested in the same economic events. You can customise your calendar to show only the events that are relevant to your trading strategy.

What should traders expect?

Traders tend to have certain market expectations which refer to the consensus forecasts or anticipated outcomes for economic events listed on the calendar. These expectations set a benchmark against which the actual data release is compared. Deviations from expectations can significantly impact market sentiment and influence trading decisions. Each trader can prepare for economic events listed on the calendar individually by conducting their own research. To prepare for economic events, traders and investors can research the event's historical impact, understand its relevance to their preferred markets or assets, review market expectations, and consider implementing risk management measures like setting appropriate stop-loss orders or position sizing.

Some common mistakes to avoid include relying solely on economic calendars without considering other factors, failing to update information in real-time, misunderstanding the context and implications of events, and overreacting to short-term market movements without considering long-term trends.

Traders are not aware that it is possible to automate trading strategies based on economic calendar events. Traders can develop algorithms or use trading platforms that allow for automated execution based on predefined rules and conditions triggered by specific economic events. To evaluate the accuracy of an economic calendar's data, compare its forecasts or consensus estimates with other reputable sources. Consider the calendar's track record and reputation within the trading and investing community. Additionally, monitor the timeliness and consistency of data updates provided by the calendar.


Remember, while economic calendars can provide valuable insights, it's essential to consider other fundamental and technical analysis tools, as well as your risk tolerance and investment goals, when making trading or investment decisions.


An economic calendar is a tool that provides a schedule of upcoming economic events and data releases. It typically includes important indicators, central bank meetings, policy announcements, speeches by policymakers, and other significant economic announcements.

An economic calendar is essential for traders and investors as it helps them stay informed about upcoming events that can potentially impact financial markets. It allows them to prepare for market volatility, adjust trading positions, and make informed decisions based on the anticipated impact of economic events.

Economic calendars include a wide range of events such as GDP releases, inflation data (CPI, PPI), employment reports (non-farm payrolls), interest rate decisions, central bank statements, consumer confidence indices, manufacturing and services PMIs, retail sales figures, and more.

Economic calendars are usually updated in real-time or close to real-time as new information becomes available. They are designed to provide the most up-to-date information on economic events and any revisions or changes in market expectations.

Interpreting the data on an economic calendar involves understanding the event, its impact on the markets, and comparing the actual data release with market expectations. The calendar may include consensus forecasts or previous data for reference. Positive or negative deviations from expectations can influence market sentiment and price movements.

While an economic calendar provides valuable information, predicting precise market movements is challenging. Traders and investors analyse the data in conjunction with other fundamental and technical analysis tools, market trends, and historical patterns to make more informed predictions about potential market reactions.

Written by

Eleana Ntagia

This content has been created by XTB S.A. This service is provided by XTB S.A., with its registered office in Warsaw, at Prosta 67, 00-838 Warsaw, Poland, entered in the register of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy) conducted by District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw, XII Commercial Division of the National Court Register under KRS number 0000217580, REGON number 015803782 and Tax Identification Number (NIP) 527-24-43-955, with the fully paid up share capital in the amount of PLN 5.869.181,75. XTB S.A. conducts brokerage activities on the basis of the license granted by Polish Securities and Exchange Commission on 8th November 2005 No. DDM-M-4021-57-1/2005 and is supervised by Polish Supervision Authority.

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