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Early Spring Boosts Economy, but Benefit May Not Last
CNBC.com | March 20, 2012 | 03:13 PM EDT

The weather has giveth, and the weather is likely to taketh away, once the benefits of an early spring wear off certain sectors of the economy.

Record warmth has swept over much of the nation — in particular the Northeast — driving consumers to spend more and builders to contemplate getting their toolbelts out again in search of prospective new homebuyers.

But some economists are warning that the pulled-forward demand — that which normally happens later in a cycle but is accelerated by unusual circumstances — will wear off and the U.S. economy soon will find itself back in a chilly slow-growth mode.

Speaking for the camp that believes "sluggish" growth is likely ahead, Goldman Sachs economists say the warm weather indeed has caused upticks in areas that normally would be marked up anyway because of seasonal adjustments.

Specifically, Goldman says that its proprietary economic measure, the current activity indicator (CAI), has seen a 0.3 percentage point increase due to the weather.

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