By John S. McClenahen When the U.S. Commerce Dept. gets around to publishing GDP numbers for this year's first calendar quarter, trade probably won't be recorded as having been a major drag on the U.S. economy. "Trade looks like it will be neutral for overall economic growth in the first quarter," says Stan Shipley, a senior economist at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York. Meanwhile, Maury Harris, an analyst at UBS Warburg LCC, New York, speculates that U.S. trade could subtract about half a percentage point from first-quarter GDP growth -- if January's $33.2 billion trade deficit is repeated in February and March. In January, U.S. merchandise imports advanced 0.5% following a 1.2% decline in December. Merchandise exports grew 0.9% in January. However, notes Merrill Lynch's Shipley, January's reported increase in consumer goods imports and a related decline in capital-goods exports are primarily the product of cell phones being statistically reclassified -- from capital goods to consumer goods.