First Quarter GDP Second Estimate 1.2 Percent: Mish Vs. Consensus

This morning, the BEA revised its estimate of first-quarter GDP to 1.2% from 0.7%. The Econoday consensus estimate was 0.8%, in a range of 0.7% to 1.0%.

I posted this tweet ahead of the report.

I was higher than any Econoday economist’s estimate, yet they call me a pessimist.

Econoday Comments

First-quarter GDP gets a small but much-needed upgrade, now at a 1.2 percent rate of annualized growth which is nearly double the advance estimate. The gain is centered where it is best, in consumer spending where the rate did double to 0.6 percent. This is still slow but is an improvement with durable goods, at minus 1.4 percent, showing less contraction and services showing greater growth, at 0.8 percent.

Boosted by strong and sudden acceleration in both structures and equipment, nonresidential fixed investment is also upgraded, to 11.4 percent for a 2 percentage point gain. Government purchases are also upgraded, down 1.1 percent for a 6 tenths improvement that pulls less on GDP. Other readings are stable with a slowing build in inventories still a major negative (a negative for GDP but not for the second-quarter outlook).

But the second-quarter outlook, which was once very positive, is mostly in question following a run of weak data for April including this morning’s durable goods report. And the first-quarter is a little less of an easy comparison now for the second quarter where early estimates, once as high as 3 and 4 percent, have been coming down to the 2 percent area.

GDP 2013-2107

GDP Second Estimate Revisions

Gross Domestic Income

Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 0.9 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 1.4 percent (revised) in the fourth. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 1.0 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter.

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