GDP ‘looks great’ but pace won’t last, economists say

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics
image Here are comments on Friday’s GDP report that showed economic growth of 4.1% in the second quarter, the fastest pace in nearly four years. See: U.S. economy accelerates to 4.1% rate in second quarter, fastest in almost 4 years[1]. • “Overall, these are definitely big numbers, but not unexpectedly so, and should not alter views on the Fed or the second-half outlook much (inventories will be rebuilt in Q3, but exports will likely be softer).” — Avery Shenfeld, CIBC Economics. • “In one line: Looks great; won’t last,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics. “Looking ahead, the big stories for Q3 will be the slowdown in consumption — Q3 probably was boosted by the tax cuts, but the incremental cash flow effect is now zero — and the reversal of the Q2 inventory and trade swings. With investment and government spending growing steadily, that means our initial working assumption for Q3 growth is about 3%.” Q2'18: A big number, strong fundamentals & foreshadowing a trade war. The economy is undeniably strong, but the top line exaggerates the true underlying pace of growth. Gross private investment declined -0.5% due to declines in residential investment.[2]— Joseph Brusuelas (@joebrusuelas) July 27, 2018[3] • Jared Bernstein, formerly chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, said 4% isn’t sustainable. Pretty Goldilocks GDP report: up 4.1%, juiced by strong cons spending, net exports (exporters getting ahead of tariffs, ie, one-time). More reliable yr/yr real growth up 2.8%, still above trend. Core prices up ~2%, so Fed should stay chill.
More to come...— Jared Bernstein (@econjared) July 27, 2018[4] • “There were one-offs contributing to durable goods consumption and foreign trade, but there is real strength here. Watch for upward revisions to Q3 growth estimates, especially in inventories.” — Chris Low, FTN Financial. • “The consumer was especially impressive (+4%) with growth advancing well north of expectations. Having said that, we would hasten to add that this outcome is not reality any more than was the dismal 0.5% in Q1. On that score, we think consumption will get back to the reality of closer to 3% trend in the coming quarters.” — RBC Capital Markets. • “Net exports contributed 1.1pp to the GDP print, their strongest outturn since Q4 2013. Exports grew by a heady 9.3% q/q saar, spurred in part by some exporters pulling ahead their foreign sales to get ahead of the implementation of tariffs. Imports came in at a subdued 0.5% q/q saar, a notably low pace especially given strong domestic spending.” — Bricklin Dwyer, BNP Paribas. Also read: Fact checking Trump’s victory lap after the second-quarter GDP report[5]. References^ U.S. economy accelerates to 4.1% rate in second quarter, fastest in almost 4 years (^ (^ July 27, 2018...

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