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Friday, March 24, 2023

Q1 GDP Tracking: Wide Range

by Calculated Risk on 3/24/2023 01:24:00 PM

Note: The FOMC is projecting Q4-over-Q4 GDP growth of 0.0% to 0.8%. Here is a table of the low, middle and high FOMC projections for Q2 through Q4 based on the GDP tracking estimates below for Q1.

Estimated FOMC Projection Q2 - Q4
 Q1Low 0.0%Middle 0.4%High 0.8%

Based on the GDP tracking estimates, the FOMC's GDP projection for Q4-over-Q4 and the FOMC unemployment projections, many analysts pointed out that the FOMC is essentially projecting a recession in the 2nd half of 2023.

From BofA:
Core capital orders and shipments in February came in lower than expected at 0.2% m/m and 0.0% m/m, respectively. This modestly reduced our tracking estimate for equipment spending in 1Q. Inventories for nondurable goods also came in lower in February, thereby reducing our inventory tracking estimate. On net, this decreased our 1Q US GDP tracking estimate from 1.0% q/q saar to 0.8% q/q saar. [Mar 24th estimate]
emphasis added
From Goldman:
Durable goods orders declined against consensus expectations for a small increase, while core capital goods orders edged higher. The report covers February activity and therefore predates the recent banking stresses. The capex shipments details of the durable goods report were weaker than our previous assumptions. We lowered our Q1 GDP tracking estimate by two tenths to +2.4% (qoq ar) and our domestic final sales growth estimate by 0.1pp to +2.9%. [Mar 24th estimate]
And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow
The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2023 is 3.2 percent on March 24, unchanged from March 16 after rounding. An increase in the nowcast of GDP growth from 3.2 percent to 3.5 percent following the March 21 existing-home sales release from the National Association of Realtors was reversed after this morning’s advance manufacturing report from the US Census Bureau. [Mar 24th estimate]