DUBLIN (Reuters) – A temporary government shutdown with no end in sight, rising trade conflicts and a global growth slowdown: the first quarter outlook for the U.S. economy did not look promising at the turn of the year.
But Friday’s gross domestic product data for the first three months of 2019 could strengthen the case that while the current period of global expansion is in its late stages, some of the biggest contributors have yet to run out of steam.
China - Economy - Expectations - January-March - US
After China’s economy defied expectations that it would slow further in January-March, U.S. growth is expected to be 2.1 percent in the same period, although the range of analysts’ estimates was wider than usual at 1.0 to 2.9 percent.
If the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow model, based on data already released, is to be believed, growth will come in almost at the top of that range and bang in between the 2.2 percent pace seen in Q4 2018 and July-September’s brisk 3.4 percent.
Prophecies - Doom - US - Economy - Collapse
“Despite all the prophecies of doom, the U.S. economy did not collapse in the first quarter,” said Commerzbank economist Christoph Balz.
“On the contrary, next week’s GDP figures are likely to show decent growth. In addition, companies have boosted investment, which argues against an imminent recession.”
Atlanta - Fed - Expectations - Data - Week
The Atlanta Fed raised its expectations after data last week showed domestic retail sales grew at their strongest pace in 1-1/2 years in March, the latest indication that growth in the quarter bounced back quickly after the longest shuttering of federal agencies in U.S. history ended on Jan. 25.
While a surprise narrowing in February’s U.S. trade deficit also implied a much stronger pace of growth, weak manufacturing output — which resulted in the first quarterly drop in production since President Donald Trump’s election — may explain the wide...
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