U.S. GDP Cools As Eurozone Inflation Heats Up – Ep. 245:

Summary: The Europeans released their inflation numbers today.  Year over year, inflation in the Eurozone are increasing at an average of 1.9%, which is Mario Draghi’s objective.  This is a 4-year high in CPI increase.  How does Draghi justify more stimulus? In the U.S. growth is lower than forecast, while inflation is higher than forecast. That trend should be disturbing and it will continue.

  • Today we got the government’s first estimate of GDP growth for the first quarter of 2017
  • If you remember, the Atlanta Fed has been steadily reducing its estimate for first quarter growth since February 1 of this year when it was estimating 3.4% GDP growth
  • The last downward revision happened yesterday as a result of more weak economic data that came out yesterday
  • Particularly on inventories
  • The Atlanta Fed made its final revision to the estimate for Q1, at least the estimate that we got today
  • And they were down to .2%!
  • The consensus for Q1 had also come down; but not nearly as much as the Atlanta Fed
  • Going into this morning, the consensus estimate was 1.1% GDP growth which would be a sharp reduction from the 2.1% GDP growth that the government claims we had last year
  • And the range of forecasts went from a high of 1.7% to a low of .7%
  • Nobody was quite as low as the Atlanta Fed
  • We got the actual number this morning and it was .7%
  • This is just the first estimate
  • If you look at the economic data that has been coming out this year, the later the data comes, the worse it is
  • So if that trend continues over the next month, as the government continues to get additional data from which to determine GDP
  • There’s a very good chance that they will revise this number down
  • And maybe the Atlanta Fed’s .2% will end up being correct or too optimistic
  • I think there is still a good chance that by the time they get the final revision, which will not happen for a couple of months
  • We could end up with a negative number for Q1 very easily
  • I think the second quarter will be even weaker than the first quarter
  • If we end up with a negative number for the first quarter there’s a good chance we’ll get a negative number in the second quarter
  • Which means that by the time we get the negative number, if the second quarter is pretty much over, and it was also negative
  • Then we will actually be in a recession