Second-Quarter GDP Likely To Be Revised Downward

By John S. McClenahen The U.S. Commerce Department is scheduled to release its second read of second-quarter 2004 GDP Aug. 27. The consensus is that the department will revise its figure to an annual rate of 2.7% from the 3% it initially reported, mainly because of a larger than anticipated U.S. trade deficit. However, the economists at UBS Investment Research and Merrill Lynch & Co., both New York-based, are looking for the number to be even lower than the consensus figure. UBS, for example, foresees a 2.6% annual rate, a combination a huge June trade deficit and weak consumer spending. And Merrill is predicting a 2.5% rate, with a "much wider" than expected trade deficit taking most of the GDP toll.

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