The Independent Market Observer

Economic Release Snapshot: GDP Growth Slows in First Quarter

Posted by Sam Millette

This entry was posted on May 1, 2023 8:55:45 AM

and tagged In the News

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Monday UpdateEach week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead. 

Reports for the Week of April 24

Conference Board Consumer Confidence, April (Tuesday)

  • Expected/prior Consumer Confidence Index: 104/104
  • Actual Consumer Confidence Index: 101.3

Consumer confidence fell more than expected in April, driven by souring consumer expectations for future economic conditions. The drop in the index likely reflected some concerns about the banking industry’s health, but the modest decline during the month indicated that these concerns were not a major headwind for confidence.

Durable goods orders, March, preliminary (Wednesday)

  • Expected/prior durable goods orders monthly change: +0.7%/–1.2%
  • Actual durable goods orders change: +3.2%
  • Expected/prior core durable goods orders monthly change: –0.2%/–0.3%
  • Actual core durable goods orders change: +0.3%

Headline and core durable goods orders increased more than expected in March, indicating that business investment picked up during the month. A surge of volatile nondefense aircraft orders in March boosted headline sales, and the growth in headline and core orders was encouraging.

First-quarter GDP growth, advance estimate (Thursday)

  • Expected/prior annualized GDP growth: +1.9%/+2.6%
  • Actual annualized GDP growth: +1.1%
  • Expected/prior annualized personal consumption: +4.0%/+1.0%
  • Actual annualized personal consumption: +3.7%

The first look at GDP growth in the first quarter showed slowing growth to start the year, with the 1.1 percent annualized growth rate coming in below expectations. Personal consumption growth also came in below estimates; however, the 3.7 percent annualized increase in the first quarter was a step up from the 1 percent growth rate at the end of 2022.

Personal spending and personal income, March (Friday)

  • Expected/prior personal income monthly change: +0.2%/+0.3%
  • Actual personal income change: +0.3%
  • Expected/prior personal spending monthly change: –0.1%/+0.1%
  • Actual personal spending change: +0%

Personal income increased slightly more than expected in March, while spending was flat for the month. These results were modestly better than economist expectations, which called for slower income growth and a drop in spending during the month.

Upcoming Reports for the Week of May 1

ISM Manufacturing, April (Monday)

Manufacturer confidence is expected to increase modestly in April, which would leave the index in contractionary territory during the month.

ISM Services, April (Wednesday)

Service sector confidence is also expected to improve in April, and the index is set to remain in expansionary territory during the month.

FOMC rate decision (Wednesday)

The Fed is set to announce its monetary policy decision following its May meeting on Wednesday. Investors and economists expect to see a 25 bp interest rate hike at this meeting.

Trade balance, March (Thursday)

The March international trade report is set to show a slightly smaller trade deficit compared to February, partially supported by a narrowing of the deficit in the trade of goods.

Employment report, April (Friday)

The April job report is expected to show slowing but solid levels of job growth, with 180,000 new jobs anticipated in April following the 236,000 that were added in March. The unemployment rate is set to increase modestly. But, on the whole, the labor market is expected to remain healthy for the month.

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