Home   Logon   Mobile Site   Research and Commentary   About Us   Call 1.800.621.1675 or Email Us       Follow Us: 

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       
 
 

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
 
Click for Bio
Follow Brian on Twitter Follow Brian on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Bob on Twitter Follow Bob on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
 
  Real GDP Growth in Q4 Revised Up to a 2.6% Annual Rate
Posted Under: Data Watch • Employment • GDP • Government • PIC • Spending

 
Implications: The biggest news this morning was that initial claims for unemployment insurance declined 10,000 last week to 311,000 and continuing claims dropped 53,000 to 2.82 million. Plugging these figures into our payroll models suggests a solid March gain of 203,000 nonfarm and 205,000 for the private sector. We will be adjusting this forecast to reflect incoming data over the next week, but it looks like the pace of job growth is bouncing back from weather-related problems this winter. The other big report this morning was on GDP and it's hard to get more mediocre than the top-line number on Q4. Real GDP growth for Q4 was revised up to a 2.6% annual rate from a prior estimate of 2.4%. That fell slightly short of the consensus expected 2.7% rate. However, the "mix" of GDP was slightly more favorable for future quarters as inventories were revised down. The best part of today's GDP report was our first glimpse on economy-wide corporate profits, which grew at a 9.2% annual rate in Q4 and are up 6.2% from a year ago. Corporate profits are again at an all-time high and are the largest share of GDP since 1950. Nominal GDP (real growth plus inflation) is up 4.1% from a year ago and up at a 3.9% annual rate in the past two years. For comparison, the average annual growth for nominal GDP is 3.8% in the past ten years. In other words, the Federal Reserve is still keeping interest rates near zero and expanding its balance sheet at the same time nominal GDP growth appears quite normal. This can't be sustained without generating higher inflation in the next several years. Look for a temporary slowdown in real GDP growth in Q1 due to the unusually harsh winter, with a rebound in Q2 and beyond. In other news this morning, pending home sales, which are contracts on existing homes, declined 0.8% in February. As a result, we expect existing home sales, which are counted at closing, to show a continued decline in March, before rebounding in Q2.

Click here for a PDF version
Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 10:44 AM • Post Link Share: 
Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
 
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2022 All rights reserved.