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The Reuters Poll Number

Before each data release, Reuters polls a number of analysts from various Banks and institutions to get a gauge of what the industry experts are expecting out of the release. As you can imagine, this is incredibly useful information to have.

We get the number of forecasters (analysts) that have contributed to the poll (usually around 100 or so) as well as a range giving us the lowest number forecasted along with the highest number forecasted, with the average of all the forecasts making up the Reuters Poll number.

 

For the image please refer to the video at 0:42

In the screenshot above, we can see the Economic Events dashboard on Xenith. 

At the top of the list, you’ll see the Non Farm Payrolls. You can see the prior number as well as the Reuters Poll number, and then as soon as the new number is released it will appear under “actual” and the difference between the new number and the Reuters Poll number will show under “surprise”.

 

For the image please refer to the video at 2:00

In the screenshot above, we can see the Reuters Poll analytics page for the NFP release. 

The chart along the bottom gives you a historical overview of the Reuters Poll number against the actual figure release and you can select your “lookback” period. In the table above, we can then see data on the last five releases, giving us the lowest number, the highest number and the average of the polled forecasts for the Reuters Poll number. We can also see the actual number and the amount of the forecasts contributed to the poll.

If the range is very tight, then we have a strong consensus view, and if the range is very wide, then we know that there is more uncertainty around the figure. All of this is tradable information – so let’s now move on to building a trading strategy.