Q1 GDP Takes Sharp Negative Revision on Consumer Spending

cash register, not full
cash register, not full

The Commerce Department has released its second and (supposedly) final reading of the first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) for 2013. As this is a second revision, it would require a significant revision to have much impact on stocks and bonds, as this is data from January to March. Unfortunately, the growth scenario here looks much lower on the surface at only +1.8% GDP growth. Bloomberg and Dow Jones both had consensus estimates of 2.4%, which was the same as the previous revision.

The drags were downward revisions in consumer spending and in business investment, with personal consumption spending falling to a revised 2.6% gain rather than a 3.4% gain. We also saw that exports and imports were revised slightly lower.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment fell 8.7% in the first quarter versus a decrease of 14.8% in the fourth. Current-dollar GDP is the market value of output of goods and services and this rose by 3.1% or $120.0 billion in the first quarter to a level of $15.9841 trillion.

What will not be well received is that growth is looking weak in the second quarter as well, and the international picture seems to be turning south again too. The good news is that this marked the 15th consecutive quarter of gains. The bad news is that this is the weakest recovery since the end of World War II.

S&P futures remain up about eight points and DJIA futures remain up almost 60 points.

Filed under: Economy