Atlanta Fed Throws In The Towel: Cuts Final Q1 GDP Forecast To Just 0.2%

Well that was fast: literally seconds ago we posted JPM’s Q1 GDP forecast revision, saying “while we wait to see if the Atlanta Fed will cut its final Q1 GDP estimate ahead of tomorrow’s official print to 0% or negative.” At precisely the same time as we hit the publish button, the Atlanta Fed came out with its revised forecast and it’s a doozy: after starting its Q1 GDP nowcast at 2.5%, rising as high as 3.4%, and plunging recently as low as 0.5%, the Atlanta Fed has “thrown in the towel” on the quarter in which the Fed hiked rates, and while not negative – or 0.0% – it was about as close as it could go without the Fed losing all credibility for having hiked in a contraction quarter.

From the Atlanta Fed:

Latest forecast: 0.2 percent — April 27, 2017

 

The final GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2017 is 0.2 percent on April 27, down from 0.5 percent on April 18.

 

The forecast of first-quarter real consumer spending growth fell from 0.3 percent to 0.1 percent after yesterday’s annual retail trade revision by the U.S. Census Bureau. The forecast of the contribution of inventory investment to first-quarter growth declined from -0.76 percentage points to -1.11 percentage points after this morning’s advance reports on durable manufacturing and wholesale and retail inventories from the Census Bureau.

 

The forecast of real equipment investment growth increased from 5.5 percent to 6.6 percent after the durable manufacturing report and the incorporation of previously published data on light truck sales to businesses from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

 

Some context:

Some more context: if the Atlanta Fed is right, and tomorrow the BEA confirms that GDP was around 0.2% , this will be the lowest GDP quarter in which the Fed has hiked rates since Q4 1980.

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