Economic Derivative


DEFINITION of 'Economic Derivative'

A relatively new form of derivative contract (the first ones were traded in 2002) that is based on the future value of some national economic indicator, such as non-farm payrolls, the purchasing manager's index, retail sales levels and the gross domestic product. Most of these economic derivatives are in the form of binary or "digital" options, whereby the only payout options are full payout (in the money) or nothing at all (out of the money). Other types of contracts currently traded include capped vanilla options and forwards.

Economic derivatives have become attractive for their ability to mitigate some of the market and basis risks found in standard investment vehicles.

BREAKING DOWN 'Economic Derivative'

For example, a binary option trading on the GDP would pay its face value if, when the official GDP release is made (the exercise date), the GDP value falls within a specific range (strike range). If the GDP figure is outside of this range, the option expires worthless.

By looking at the implied probabilities of different outcomes, economists and investors can compare economic derivatives to Wall Street estimates and look for discrepancies between the two estimations. As might be expected, the market-driven process seen in derivatives pricing has shown itself to be the more consistently accurate predictor of future indicator release values.

  1. Gross Domestic Product - GDP

    The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced ...
  2. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  3. Indicator

    Indicators are statistics used to measure current conditions ...
  4. Financial Analysis

    The process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets and other ...
  5. Risk Analysis

    The study of the underlying uncertainty of a given course of ...
  6. Vanilla Option

    A financial instrument that gives the holder the right, but not ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Are Derivatives A Disaster Waiting To Happen?

    They've contributed to some major market scandals, but these instruments aren't all bad.
  2. Options & Futures

    Explaining The World Through Macroeconomic Analysis

    From unemployment and inflation to government policy, learn what macroeconomics measures and how it affects everyone.
  3. Options & Futures

    The 4 Advantages of Options

    Flexible and cost efficient, options are more popular than ever. Find out why.
  4. Retirement

    Economic Indicators To Know

    The economy has a large impact on the market. Learn how to interpret the most important reports.
  5. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  6. Investing

    Have Commodities Bottomed?

    Commodity prices have been heading lower for more than four years, being the worst performing asset class of 2015 with more losses in cyclical commodities.
  7. Investing

    Oil: Why Not to Put Faith in Forecasts

    West Texas Intermediate oil futures have recently made pronounced movements. What do they bode for the world market?
  8. Options & Futures

    Pick 401(k) Assets Like A Pro

    Professionals choose the options available to you in your plan, making your decisions easier.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Use Options Data To Predict Stock Market Direction

    Options market trading data can provide important insights about the direction of stocks and the overall market. Here’s how to track it.
  10. Economics

    Is the U.S. Economy Ready for Liftoff?

    The Fed continues to delay normalizing rates, citing inflation concerns and “global economic and financial developments” in explaining its rationale.
  1. Can mutual funds invest in derivatives?

    Mutual funds can invest up to 50% of their net assets in derivatives. However, the mutual fund industry in the United States ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Where do penny stocks trade?

    Generally, penny stocks are traded through the use of the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and through pink sheets. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Where can I buy penny stocks?

    Some penny stocks, those using the definition of trading for less than $5 per share, are traded on regular exchanges such ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How are American Depository Receipts (ADRs) priced?

    The price of an American depositary receipt (ADR) is determined by the bank or other financial institution that issues it. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!