Thursday, October 14, 2010

Early Third Quarter GDP Forecast

by Calculated Risk on 10/14/2010 04:44:00 PM

From Catherine Rampell at the NY Times Economix: Third-Quarter G.D.P. Forecast Revised Down

Macroeconomic Advisers ... has just downgraded its estimate for third-quarter annual output growth to a measly 1.2 percent.
My early guess is real PCE growth will come in around 2.0% in Q3. Since PCE is about 70% of GDP, that gives a contribution to GDP of 1.4 percentage points at an annual rate.

Residential investment (RI) will probably subtract close to 0.6 or more percentage points. Equipment and software will be positive and mostly offset the decline in RI. Government spending will also probably make a negative contribution. All of that puts us close to 1.0% annualized real GDP growth in Q3 before ..

Still unknown are the contributions from the trade balance and changes in inventories. With the higher than expected trade deficit in August, the contribution from trade could be close to zero. I expect a small positive contribution from inventories - so I think the 1.2% estimate is probably close (I'd guess closer to 1.5%).

It sure seems like the 2nd half slowdown is intact. And I expect PCE growth to slow in Q4 - but I think that will be offset with residential investment probably being somewhat flat (as opposed to the negative contribution in Q3).

The advance Q3 GDP report will be released on Oct 29th, and that is probably the last economic release standing between the Fed and QE2. Based on this early forecast, QE2 will arrive on Nov 3rd ...