The Commerce Department’s will release its first estimate of economic growth in the third quarter at 8:30 a.m. ET.
It will be the first comprehensive picture of the economy since Hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed into the Southeastern US, disrupting business activity and spending. Economists forecast that growth slowed from the second quarter to an annualized pace of 2.6%, according to Bloomberg.
The economy grew 3.1% in Q2, the fastest pace in two years.
Friday’s estimate will be based on incomplete data and revised two more times before the end of the year.
“The big story within the third quarter GDP numbers will be the softening of consumption, offset by faster inventory-building,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson in a preview.
“Consumption was depressed by the hurricanes, and not just because low-paid part-timers spent less. Hurricanes prevent everyone in the storm-hit areas from spending money on discretionary services, such as restaurant meals and trips to the movies, and that hit offsets their extra spending on plywood, flashlights, food and other essential supplies before the storm arrives.”