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6 Apr. 2016 Productivity Slowdowns Have Happened Before, and Reversed (Publication Centre)

With only three weeks to go until the release of the initial official estimate of first quarter GDP, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow measure shows growth at just 0.4%. Our own estimate, which includes our subjective forecasts for the missing data--the Atlanta Fed's measure is entirely model-based--is a bit higher, at 1%, and both measures could easily be revised significantly.

26 January 2017 Will Today's Data Shift Fourth Quarter GDP Growth Forecasts? (Publication Centre)

Three of today's economic reports, all for December, could move the needle on fourth quarter GDP growth. Ahead of the data, we're looking for growth of 1.8%, a bit below the consensus, 2.2%, and significantly weaker than the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model, which projects 2.8%.

2 July 2018 Construction Activity is Accelerating, it's not Just Hurricane Repairs (Publication Centre)

Perhaps the single strongest U.S. economic data series in recent months has been construction spending, which has risen by more than 1%, month-to-month, in four of the past five months.

18 August. 2016 What are the Chances of 4%-plus Growth in the Third Quarter? (Publication Centre)

The latest model-based third quarter GDP forecast from the Atlanta Fed is 3.6%, well above the 2.5% consensus forecast reported by Bloomberg. We are profoundly skeptical of so-called "tracking models" of GDP growth, because they are based mostly on forecasts and assumptions until very close to the actual GDP release.

26 October 2018 Inventories and Consumption Drove up Q3 Growth Q4 will be Slower (Publication Centre)

We have tweaked our third quarter GDP forecast in the wake of the September advance international trade and inventory data; we now expect today's first estimate to show that the economy expanded at a 4.0% annualized rate.

25 June 2018 Imports Still Falling as the Hurricane Surge Continues to Unwind? (Publication Centre)

The latest data from container ports around the country are consistent with our view that imports are still correcting after the surge late last year, triggered by the hurricanes.

26 May 2017 First Quarter Growth Set to be Revised up, but Data are Very Flawed (Publication Centre)

We didn't believe the first estimate of Q1 GDP growth, 0.7%, and we won't believe today's second estimate, either. The data are riddled with distortions, most notably the long-standing problem of residual seasonality, which depressed the number by about one percentage point.

8 June 2018 Q2 Growth is Looking Very Strong, but Inventories Set to Disappoint? (Publication Centre)

The latest iteration of the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model of second quarter GDP growth shows the economy expanding at a 4.5% annualized rate.

7 February 2017 Q1 Growth to Disappoint, Again? (Publication Centre)

The obvious answer to the question posed in our title is that it's far too early to tell what will happen to first quarter growth. More than half the quarter hasn't even happened yet, and data for January are still extremely patchy, with no official reports on retail sales, industrial production, housing, capex, inventories or international trade yet available. For what it's worth, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model signals growth of 3.4%, though we note that it substantially overstated the first estimate of growth in the fourth quarter.

23 May 2017 Consumers' Spending on Goods Appears to be Rebounding (Publication Centre)

The latest iteration of the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model puts second quarter GDP growth at 4.1%. Assuming a modest upward revision to growth in the first quarter -- the data will be released Friday -- that would mean average growth of 2.5% in the first half, in line with our forecast for the year as a whole, and rather better than the 1.6% growth recorded in 2016.

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