Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius has just hinted he may cut is Q1 GDP outlook again, only a week after reducing his call to 2.5% growth for 2011 (via Zero Hedge).
Hatzius’ latest bearish turn comes as a result of today’s trade data, which didn’t show the improvements he was expecting.
From Goldman Sachs, via Zero Hedge:
The US trade balance improved much less than we expected in February, narrowing to -$45.8bn from a revised -$47.0bn in January. The “Chinese New Year effect” (discussed in the April 6 US Daily) was much smaller than we expected, with real goods imports declining by $4.5bn but less than half of the change due to manufactured goods imports. Meanwhile, exports were extremely weak, falling $3.7bn in real terms – the largest monthly drop in real exports on record outside a recession – so that the real trade balance improved by less than $1bn. Through February, the trade data suggest a large drag on GDP growth in the first quarter and suggest downside risk to our 2.5% forecast.