Second Quarter: How Close To 4% Growth?

Jan. 13, 2005
By John S. McClenahen This Friday, July 30, the U.S. Commerce Department is slated to publish its first estimate of GDP growth during this year's second calendar quarter. The big question: How close to an annual rate of 4% will be estimate be? ...
ByJohn S. McClenahen This Friday, July 30, the U.S. Commerce Department is slated to publish its first estimate of GDP growth during this year's second calendar quarter. The big question: How close to an annual rate of 4% will be estimate be? Inflation-adjusted growth of 4% would be the second quarter equally between 4.1% growth in the final quarter of 2003 and 3.9% growth during the first quarter of this year. "Real GDP probably rose at about a 4% annual rate for a third consecutive quarter," says UBS Investment Research, New York. "The composition of growth appears to have changed a bit, however, with a slowing in consumption and a pickup in business investment." Consumption, figures UBS, advanced at a 2% rate while real business investment grew at a 14% rate. Not so fast, says Merrill Lynch & Co., also based in New York. Its economists are looking for a second-quarter GDP figure of only 3.2%. "The major detractor from growth in the quarter was trade -- a $5 billion drag," the securities firm says.

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