Here comes the economy.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Fed — which nailed the terrible first quarter of this year — published some good news for the long-awaited economic bounceback.
The latest update to the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker shows that second quarter GDP is expected to show the economy grew 1.1% in the quarter. This is up from 0.8% two days ago.
This update follows the latest trade balance report, which showed the US trade deficit narrowed to $US40.9 billion in April, down from $US50.4 billion in March.
The trade deficit ballooned in March, and Wednesday’s report confirmed to Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics that increase was due to the strike at West Coast ports.
Currently, Wall Street expects the economy grew 2.6% in the second quarter. So, still a ways away from where the Atlanta Fed’s estimate is at, but the gap is now closing.
It is also worth keeping in mind that the Atlanta Fed’s tracker is real-time, meaning it only responds to data received so far, and given that Wall Street expects economic data will improve as the quarter goes along, this narrative — for Q2 growth to come in above 2.5% — is still intact.
However, in the first quarter, the initial estimate for Q1 GDP showed the economy grew just 0.2%; this was later revised to show a 0.7% contraction. Ahead of this first estimate, Wall Street was looking for 1% growth while the Atlanta Fed showed the economy grew just 0.1%.
And so while one 0.3% increase in expectations for Q2 GDP doesn’t mean that, you know, “all of the economy’s problems are solved!” or anything, this is still a bit of encouraging news and a sign that maybe the economy is turning around after all.