Frequently Used Abbreviations

May 1, 2008

Economic writing often uses abbreviations for frequently used words, phrases, or concepts. Some are very intuitive and/or part of general English usage like the months of the year (for example, Feb instead of February). Others may need a glossary of explanations. I’ve compiled a list below. Although not exhaustive, it is a start.

m/m:  Percent change from one month to the next month

q/q:  Percent change from one calendar quarter to the next calendar quarter

y/y:  Percent change from same period one year earlier

CY:  Calendar year

FY: Fiscal year

1Q08 or 1H08:  First quarter of 2008 or first half of 2008

saar:  Annualized percentage change between two periods

SA or sa:  Seasonally adjusted

NSA or nsa:  Not seasonally adjusted

ppts:   Percentage points

G7:  Group of Seven consisting of the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain, Germany, France and Italy.  G8 adds Russia.

Euroland:  Countries that use the euro, a.k.a. Euro area, Euro zone or Ezone

G3:  United States, Japan, and Euroland

bln:  Billions, also sometimes abbreviated to bn

mln:  Millions

tln:  Trillions

data:  Economic figures, statistics, numbers, scores, or readings

Fed:  Federal Reserve Bank.  The Board is in Washington.  FRBNY is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

ECB:  European Central Bank

BOJ:  Bank of Japan

Tankan:  A quarterly business survey done by the Bank of Japan

RBA:  Reserve Bank of Australia

RBNZ:  Reserve Bank of New Zealand

BOC:  Bank of Canada

BOE:  Bank of England

Riksbank:  Sweden’s Central Bank

Norges Bank:  Norway’s Central Bank

BOK:  Bank of Korea

PBOC:  People’s Bank of China, which is the central bank

OECD:  Organization of Economic and Co-operative Development

IMF:  International Monetary Fund

EUR:  Euro, Europe’s common currency

Kiwi:  New Zealand dollar

Loonie:  Canadian dollar, a.k.a. C-dollar or CAD or C$

AUD:  Australian dollar, a.k.a. A$, Aussie dollar, the Aussie or A-dollar

Chf:  Swiss franc or Swissy

Gbp:  British pound or sterling or pound

USD:  U.S. dollar, a.k.a. the buck or greenback

PMI:  Purchasing managers survey index

Mf’g:  Manufacturing

CNY:  Chinese yuan or renminbi per U.S. dollar

NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research

Gov:  Governor, i.e. top official at several central banks (e.g., BOE and BOJ)

Pres:  President

VP:  Vice President

Treas Sec’y:  Treasury Secretary

FM:  Finance Minister, a.k.a. Fin Min

Fgn:  Foreign

Dems and Reps:  Democrats and Republicans in U.S. politics

LDP:  Liberal Democrats, ruling party of Japan

DPJ:  Opposition Democratic Party of Japan

Bps:  basis points, 1/100th of a percentage point, also written bp

Pips:  1/100th of change in a dollar exchange rate. $1.5710 is 10 pips higher than $1.5700

MCI:  Monetary conditions, which are affected when exchange rate or money interest rate changes

CPI:  Consumer price index. PPI is producer price index.

GDP:  Gross domestic product. “Growth” refers to changes in GDP unless qualified by another term, like money growth.

Bonds:  are called bunds in Germany, Gilts in Britain, JGB’s in Japan and Treasuries in the United States.

Stock market indices: DJIA- U.S. Dow Jones Industrials, Dax- Germany, Nikkei- Japan, Ftse of Footsie- Britain, TSE- Canada, Cac40- France and CSI-300 China.

Further note that it is common to personalize central banks. So when one reads the ECB raised its benchmark refinancing rate  by 25 bps to 4.25%, what is really meant is that officials or policymakers at the the European Central Bank lifted rates. When officials reduce rates, they are said to ease or loosen policy, and when rates increase, we say that policy has been snugged or tightened. To say that policy has become more accommodative has the same meaning as policy is looser. A less accommodative policy means policy is becoming tighter. A neutral monetary stance is one that neither promotes nor restrains economic growth. A restrictive stance depresses growth, while an accommodative stance is designed to accelerate economic growth. Core inflation excludes food and energy. Headline inflation counts all prices.  In Japan only, core inflation excludes food but not energy.  Japan’s core-core inflation rate excludes both food and energy.  Foreign exchange and currency are used synonymously.  Currencies are traded in the foreign exchange market.


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