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U.S. GDP Growth Reported at 4.1%
Today we finally got the highly anticipated first look at U.S. economic growth, or really GDP growth, because the GDP is not that great a barometer of the economy. Nonetheless, thats the one that everybody uses to measure it, and that’s the one that we’re going to talk about. Perhaps I can get into why the GDP is such a flawed measure in a different podcast; I really don’t want to get into it today. I just want to talk about the numbers that are being spoon-fed.
Atlanta Fed Forecast of 3.8% Might Be Closer to Final Number
In any event, we got the number today, and there was initially a loth of estimates that we could just blow it away this quarter, that we could have a number north of 5%, and we got 4.1%. So, we at least are above 4%, which lets Donald Trump brag about the number being over 4%, although we’ll see how long it stays over 4%. You know, we did get a lot of data that was coming out this week, and in recent weeks. In fact, the Atlanta Fed lowered its forecast, which at one point was as high as 5.4% and it lowered it down to 3.8% yesterday. I think that 38 might end up being more accurate than the 4.1%. In fact, we may end up being below 3.8% by the time they make the final revisions.
Celebration May Be Premature
They actually revised the first quarter back up to 2.2%. So they revise these things constantly. The first number is rarely the correct number. In theory, they could revise it up but I think it’s more likely that the revision is going to be down, so the celebration is premature.
New Home Sales Lowest in 8 Months
Two numbers that came out this week that caused the Atlanta Fed to move down to 3.8%: one was new home sales. It was the lowest in 8 months. In fact, they revised down some prior months. I had already reported in a previous podcast the weak numbers for existing home sales, which is a bigger number because most of the homes that are bought already exist. But the ones that are being built have a bigger impact on the economy proportionately because of all the construction jobs.