Sign "O" the Times

The Commerce Department reported the US economy grew, albeit barely, at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of just 0.1% last quarter. That’s one-quarter of one-tenth of one percent growth. Adjusted… to or from what, it’s difficult to say. But WSJ says that


Based on more up-to-date figures, including the March trade data released last week, private forecasters now expect gross domestic product contracted in the first quarter for the first time in three years.

The latest evidence came Tuesday, when the Commerce Department released reports on retail sales and business inventories. Retail sales in February and March were revised up, but business inventories grew less in March than the agency had assumed in its GDP calculations.

Incorporating the new data, J.P. Morgan ChaseJPM -0.05% on Tuesday estimated GDP contracted at a 0.8% rate in the first quarter. Macroeconomic Advisers put the contraction at 0.7%. Barclays Capital predicted a 0.6% decline. Pierpont Securities estimated output fell at a 0.4% rate. Action Economics estimated a 0.2% decline.

Say it with me now: Unexpectedly.


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