Second quarter GDP Friday could be a game changer for markets that are anxious for any clues as to the depth and duration of the current soft patch.
While backward looking, second quarter GDP forecasts were cut dramatically as the June 30 quarter progressed, and economic data deteriorated. It is now expected to show 1.4 percent growth, down from 1.9 percent in the first quarter. The 8:30 a.m. ET report, which includes revisions back to 2009, will also influence the Fed’s discussions when it holds its two-day meeting next week.
“The previous quarter’s GDP print is very important because it’s the foundation on which you build your forecast going forward — what is in the mix in growth, what is In the mix in final demand and inventories,” said Deutsche Bank chief U.S. economist Joseph LaVorgna. He expects the second quarter grew by just 1 percent, but he is a bit more bullish than some economists for the second half and sees growth of 2.7 percent of the third quarter and 2.8 percent for the fourth.
“I think if you have a really lousy number, the Fed’s going to say, ‘you know we’ve been missing here for a while,’ and that could color their decision on whether to act aggressively or not,” said Michael Feroli, J.P. Morgan economist. “Whereas, if it comes in better, maybe they say: ‘Things aren’t quite as bad as we think.’”
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