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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another Weak Quarter for U.S. GDP

Jim Hamilton:

Another weak quarter for U.S. GDP: The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that U.S. real GDP grew at a 0.5% annual rate in the first quarter. That’s disappointing, even by standards of the weak growth that has become the norm since getting out of the Great Recession. ...
Housing investment was one bright point. Another was growth in government spending at the state and local level which more than made up for a drop at the federal level. An important drag came from the decline in exports, reflecting economic weakness outside the United States. The biggest negative was a drop in nonresidential fixed investment, which by itself subtracted 3/4 of a percent from the Q1 annual growth rate. ... Further declines in investment spending in the oil-producing sector contributed to that. ...
The disappointing Q1 GDP numbers brought our Econbrowser Recession Indicator Index up to 15.7%. ... That’s still significantly below the 67% threshold at which our algorithm would declare that the U.S. had entered a new recession. ...
U.S. growth is certainly facing some significant headwinds, and lower oil prices do not appear to have helped. Nevertheless, the employment numbers have been showing strong momentum, and housing can make further positive contributions in the coming two years. Maybe not enough to get us back to 3%. But we can still hope to get back to 2%.

The White House's view: Advance Estimate of Gross Domestic Product for the First Quarter of 2016, by Jason Furman, whitehouse.gov.

[I should add that the estimate will be revised later, and there are questions about the seasonal adjustment procedure for 1st quarter numbers.]

    Posted by on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 09:35 AM in Economics | Permalink  Comments (41)


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