BUCKLE UP: It's a huge morning for the US economy

Buckle up: it’s going to be a huge morning for the US economy.

On Friday morning we get four big pieces of economic data to close out January, headlined by the first estimate of fourth quarter GDP due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Expectations are for the print to show the economy grew at an annualized pace of 0.8% in the fourth quarter, slower than the 2% pace of growth seen during the third quarter.

Personal consumption is also expected to slow to 1.8% from 3%. Consumption has been among the bright spots in the economy over the last year while the manufacturing sector has started to roll over.

Also at 8:30 a.m. ET we’ll get the latest employment cost index, a more comprehensive measure of employee pay than the average hourly earnings data released with the jobs report.

This is expected to show employment costs rose 0.6% in the fourth quarter, the same as the third quarter.

Later on we’ll get a reading on manufacturing activity in the Midwest with the Chicago PMI report set to cross at 9:45 a.m. ET and show continued contraction.

The final reading on consumer confidence is due out from the University of Michigan at 10:00 a.m. ET and the big thing to watch here is to see if consumers pay attention to the recent stock market volatility.

Earlier this week we got data from the Conference Board indicating that consumers continued to feel good about their prospects despite the big drop in stocks we saw to start the year, but economists have said for weeks now that if the effects of financial market stress really are going to spillover into the “real” economy we’ll see this show up in confidence readings first.

Economists expect Friday’s UMich report won’t show a big hit to confidence from the market action.

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