Regardless of the country, the respective governments have a pivotal role to play in economic growth for a given year. The vast resources at the disposal of the nation and state’s government, when combined with effective planning and action, has yielded phenomenal results for many countries’ growth. Understanding the government budget and its role in economic growth helps us to predict how conducive the market place will be for economic growth for the fiscal year.
What is Government Budget Value?
Budget: A budget is a periodic estimation of revenue and expenses for a specified period. The time-frame can be monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. A budget can be drafted for an individual, a group, a business, the government, or anything else that has cash in-flow and out-flow.
Government Budget: When we refer to the term budget, it is generally associated with the local or central government. The Government Budget refers to the estimated or forecast of its expenditures and revenue for a particular period. The time-frame generally for which it is estimated is for a financial year, which may or may not coincide with the calendar year. The combined income and outlays of a government for a fiscal year make up the government budget.
Government Budget Value: Here, the government budget value refers to the actual dollar value of the entire budget. We are referring here to the raw or direct numerical dollar value of the total budget. The budget is drafted as per the plans and obligations of the government for the fiscal year. The government has obligations like paying out social security funds, interests, and principal on its debts, purchasing military equipment for national security, and other mandatory spending programs. The government receives incomes from interests on its investments, revenue from taxes, fees collected from government services offered, etc.
All these income sources, outlays are all detailed in the government budget report. It is analogous to a bank statement of an individual except that it is for the entire government as a single entity, and the transaction values would be in millions and billions of dollars.
How can the Government Budget Value numbers be used for analysis?
In the budget report, if the revenues exceed the expenditures, then it is called a budget surplus. When the expenditures exceed the revenue, it is called a budget deficit. When both the revenue and expenditure level off and are equal, it is called a budget balance. All three scenarios have different meanings and implications.
When there is a budget surplus, the government has additional funds to create new infrastructure, improve the living conditions, raise salaries of government officials, and even provide support for new businesses to improve business growth. In developed economies, when the government experiences prolonged periods of excessive budget surplus, there may be outbursts from the public to reduce taxes levied on them to make sure money stays with the people who earned and not the government. Ideally, a budget surplus is preferred.
The budget balance is an ideal situation for any government where all their outlays are met through the revenues received, although any change of plans or additional programs, if needed to be taken up, would push them to a deficit. In general, all the expected expenditures would be factored in. A balanced budget would indicate every penny is accounted for and is very hard to achieve in real-world scenarios. There would always be some differences in income and outlays.
When the income does not suffice the expenditures, we have a budget deficit. It is the less preferred and more commonly occurring scenario, especially for developed economies like the United States. However, some arguments can be made where a deficit is not always bad, as the government can borrow extra funds from investors to set up the infrastructure for future returns. Temporary deficits for future surplus are acceptable. Deficits arising out of sustainable expenses, meaning expenses that will pay off in the future more than what they cost now, are seen as good signs for the economy.
On the other hand, when the deficit arises out of unsustainable expenses, which are likely to continue due to increasing debt, interest payments, inflation, etc. all are warning signs for the economy. The government plugs in the deficit by issuing securities and treasury bonds. Corporations and investors buy these bonds. A budget deficit can arise out of a multitude of reasons. When the economic growth of the native country is slower than its trading partners, it would spend more and earn less, leading to a deficit. High unemployment rates, recessions, tight lending environments, increased government spending, etc. all add to the deficit.
The United States has been facing a deficit crisis for many years in succession now. Things are only getting worse as the baby boomer generation is retiring, further increasing the weight on the social security program adding to wider deficits in the budget. An ideal government should maintain a surplus or at least a balance to be safe. Still, like any real-world scenario, a surplus or balanced budget does not ensure or indicate high economic growth. It just makes economic growth more conducive and likely for the nation or state.
The nation’s growth depends on many factors, and one amongst them is through government budget planning and allocation of funds. When it is played right, many things fall in order, and a significant boost for the economy can be induced.
Impact on Currency
The Government Budget values are useful for analysts to ascertain what proportion of funds will be allocated to each of the listed programs. The raw value of the budget in itself is not useful for traders as it is just a number and does not bear significance until there is something to compare. In general, budget or government spending as a percentage of GDP offers a more relative picture to forecast whether stimulus from the government side is relatively more or less. Through it, we can forecast the growth rate and market environment.
The government budget value alone is not enough to bring forth any significant economic conclusions or make an investment decision. Hence, it is a low-impact lagging indicator that does not bring much volatility in the currency markets.
The Treasury Department and Office of Management and Budget of the United States maintain the government budget reports on their official websites. Internationally, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund maintain the budget data for most countries.
Sources of Government Budget Value
Government budget values for most countries are available on Trading Economics.
How Government Budget Value Release Affects The Price Charts
In the US, the Department of the Treasury is responsible for the release of the Monthly Treasury Statement. This statement contains the Federal Budget Balance, which is synonymous to the Government Budget Value. It measures the difference in value between the federal government’s income and spending during the previous month. The most recent release was on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET and can be accessed from Investing.com here. A more in-depth review of the Monthly Treasury Statement can be accessed at the US the Department of the Treasury here.
The screengrab below is of the monthly government budget value from Investing.com. On the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the fundamental indicator has on the USD.
As can be seen, the government budget value data is expected to have a medium impact on the USD upon its release.
The image below shows the recent changes in the monthly government budget value in the US. In July 2020, the government budget value changed from a deficit of $864 billion to $63 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of a $193 billion deficit. This change is positive and, in theory, should make the USD stronger compared to other currencies.
Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.
EUR/USD: Before the Monthly Government Budget Value Release on August 12, 2020, Just Before 2.00 PM ET
Before the budget data release, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a subdued uptrend. As seen in the above chart, the 15-minute candles are forming closer to the 20-period Moving Average, whose steepness is decreasing.
EUR/USD: After the Monthly Government Budget Value Release on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET
After the data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle, indicating that the USD weakened against the EUR contrary to the expectation. However, the data release was not significant enough to cause a shift in the trading pattern. The pair traded in a neutral trend with candles forming around a flat 20-period Moving Average.
AUD/USD: Before the Monthly Government Budget Value Release on August 12, 2020, Just Before 2.00 PM ET
Before the data release, the AUD/USD pair traded in a steady uptrend with candles forming above a rising 20-period MA.
AUD/USD: After the Monthly Government Budget Value Release on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET
The pair formed a 15-minute bearish “hammer” candle after the data release. Similar to the EUR/USD, AUD/USD subsequently traded in a neutral trend with the 20-period MA flattening.
NZD/USD: Before the Monthly Government Budget Value Release on August 12, 2020, Just Before 2.00 PM ET
NZD/USD: After the Monthly Government Budget Value Release on August 12, 2020, at 2.00 PM ET
NZD/USD pair showed a similar steady uptrend as observed with the AUD/USD before the data release. The pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle. It subsequently traded in the neutral pattern observed with the other pairs.
For economists, the monthly government budget value is an invaluable indicator showing the trends in government budget deficit, revenue, and expenditures. However, in the forex market, this fundamental indicator does not produce significant price action changes, as observed in the above analyses.