Q1 GDP revised slightly downward to 2.4%

posted at 9:21 am on May 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

As revisions go, this is about as mild as we see.  The advance estimate of Q1 GDP came in at 2.5%, and the interim report dropped only slightly to 2.4%, more or less statistical noise:

Real gross domestic product –the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States –increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, real GDP increased 2.5 percent. With the second estimate for the first quarter, increases in private inventory investment, in exports, and in imports were less than previously estimated, but the general picture of overall economic activity is not greatly changed (for more information, see “Revisions” on page 4).

Essentially, this is the same report as last time, with one relatively positive change.  The key metric of real final sales of domestic product rose from 1.5% last month to 1.8% this month. That’s nowhere near the kind of growth we need to see and shows that Q1′s growth is still inventory-expansion dependent, but it’s at least three-tenths of a tick better than we thought initially.

Initial jobless claims also rose, but not so much as to move out of the range over the last several weeks.  That may change significantly next week, as the Monday holiday forced a few states to send estimates instead of solid numbers:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 354,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 4,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to hold steady at 340,000 last week.

A Labor Department analyst said claims for five states, including Virginia, Minnesota and Oregon, were estimated since state offices had less time to prepare data because of the national holiday on Monday.

Over the last few months, this indicator — which is only indirectly correlative, and only over long stretches and not single weeks — has bounced between 325K and 350K or so.  This isn’t out of line for the recent trend, and may not even be accurate given the estimations.

Essentially, this is just a big shrug.  We’re still stagnating, job creation is stalled, and these indicators don’t show any evidence that things are changing in either direction.


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Unexpectedly!

rbj on May 30, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Essentially, this is just a big shrug. We’re still stagnating, job creation is stalled, and these indicators don’t show any evidence that things are changing in either direction.

Lies! Just today I saw a news report that home sales are up up up and people are spending money they don’t have to buy stuff! Also, the X-boxOne is coming out and that will send a jolt through the economy that will shatter GDP records.

In other words, all is well. All is well.

Gatsu on May 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

…you know that it is really much worse!

KOOLAID2 on May 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

The new Norm…

Welcome to the Jungle..

Electrongod on May 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

The New Normal.

Everyone is now surprised if anything positive comes from these reports and the retards in charge are reduced to touting such bits as “real final sales rose .3% OMG that is awesome! Recovery summer! Dog Eater is amazing!”

Meanwhile there is a brand shiny new national record of people claiming disability benefits, it’s like Polio suddenly made a comeback.

Bishop on May 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

We need a new cabinet position,Office of Trainwrecks.

docflash on May 30, 2013 at 9:30 AM

One of the few times you’ll see me say something uncritical of Obama.

2.4% isn’t awful. It’s pretty pathetic coming out of a recession, but it’s not a horrible number. At least it’s significantly above stall speed.

There’s little in the U.S. leading indicators to make one believe that a recession is in the near future. It’s only when you take a world view that you begin to wonder.

Now, don’t take this as complimentary. I firmly believe that what little growth we’re seeing is in spite of Obama, not because of him, and we really should be seeing GDP numbers in the +3% range, after having a few successive quarters at +5%. None of which have happened.

But, all things considered…it could be worse. And if you look at the CBO reports, it probably should be, and almost certainly will be.

Chris of Rights on May 30, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Essentially, this is just a big shrug. We’re still stagnating, job creation is stalled, and these indicators don’t show any evidence that things are changing in either direction.

I don’t know where you get that. Not a speech goes by where the rat-eared commie declares that happy days are here again. That the economy is booming. That more and more people are finding jobs.

Happy Nomad on May 30, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Recovery!

It wasn’t ‘revised downward’. President Bush is just being honest for once, telling how much we truly need Obama to put everything right.

Obama ’13!

Liam on May 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Lies! Just today I saw a news report that home sales are up up up and people are spending money they don’t have to buy stuff! Also, the X-boxOne is coming out and that will send a jolt through the economy that will shatter GDP records.

In other words, all is well. All is well.

Gatsu on May 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Department stores still look dead when I go out. The only places I see large crowds of folks spending money these days is restaurants and movies.

Doughboy on May 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Everyone is now surprised if anything positive comes from these reports and the retards in charge are reduced to touting such bits as “real final sales rose .3% OMG that is awesome! Recovery summer! Dog Eater is amazing!”

Meanwhile there is a brand shiny new national record of people claiming disability benefits, it’s like Polio suddenly made a comeback.

Bishop on May 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Wait, so are you saying that the People who thought about buying something and carried it around the store but didn’t actually buy it because the SNAP card doesn’t cover it percentage is all smoke and mirrors?!?

I just… I don’t even know how to handle that…

Gatsu on May 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

We need a new cabinet position,Office of Trainwrecks.

docflash on May 30, 2013 at 9:30 AM

We have one already, it’s called the White House. I guess another pivot to jobs is coming. He should be silly dizzy, by now.

msupertas on May 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Not enough to de-rail ScandalMania…

mjbrooks3 on May 30, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Can you imagine what growth would be if o
came out and said ……….
IRS messed up too much to inforce ocare
so we will have to cancel the whole program
and start over in 2015 .

Lucano on May 30, 2013 at 9:42 AM

I just… I don’t even know how to handle that…

Gatsu on May 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

I’ll tell you how. Just lay back and relax, look at the required photo of Dear Leader Big Brother Barack Dada hanging on the wall, and know that smarter people than you will take care of everything. All you have to do is never raise a fuss. Or else.

Bishop on May 30, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Meanwhile there is a brand shiny new national record of people claiming disability benefits, it’s like Polio suddenly made a comeback.

Bishop on May 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Speaking of Disability, where’s the 2013 SocSecurity Trustees’ Report? Could it be delayed because the numbers are suggesting an earlier-than-expected collapse of DI and OASI?

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Department stores still look dead when I go out. The only places I see large crowds of folks spending money these days is restaurants and movies.

Doughboy on May 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

The Romans had a phrase for that – “bread and circuses”.

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2013 at 9:44 AM

In other words, all is well. All is well.

Gatsu on May 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Obligatory video

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Bottom line- If we had someone other than a committed left wing idealogue we would be growing at around 4% right now and creating 300-400K jobs per month. These guys said that their leftist policies would create 500k jobs per month. As usual, they were wrong again. How many times do they have to be proven wrong?

Ta111 on May 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I’ll tell you how. Just lay back and relax, look at the required photo of Dear Leader Big Brother Barack Dada hanging on the wall, and know that smarter people than you will take care of everything. All you have to do is never raise a fuss. Or else.

Bishop on May 30, 2013 at 9:42 AM

You just described my Friday nights… I hang a picture of Obama on the ceiling, close my eyes, and wait for the scotch tape to give out.

Also, on an unrelated note, I am the chief editor for the NYT and WaPo.

Gatsu on May 30, 2013 at 9:50 AM

How many times do they have to be proven wrong?

Ta111 on May 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Every single time.

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2013 at 9:51 AM

How many times do they have to be proven wrong?

Ta111 on May 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

As many times as it takes to finally, at long last, make liberals hurt like the rest of us. Take away a liberal’s immunity from what he imposes on everyone else, and he’ll change things faster than could the entire Tea Party.

Obamacare, when it finally kicks, might be the game-changer. The pigs are already squealing, but not enough yet.

Liam on May 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

In the words of Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make?”

COgirl on May 30, 2013 at 9:54 AM

We’re still stagnating, job creation is stalled, and these indicators don’t show any evidence that things are changing in either direction.

A stagnating economy is a decaying economy.

RadClown on May 30, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The recovery-less recovery.

socalcon on May 30, 2013 at 9:56 AM

The left high fives over any GDP gain. This one isn’t great. Regardless, I don’t care very much about GDP; I care much more about GDP per capita the value of which is still near the value at the bottom of the recession.

burt on May 30, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Department stores still look dead when I go out. The only places I see large crowds of folks spending money these days is restaurants and movies.

Doughboy on May 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Sounds about right. And bars.

Our local Dairy Queen is one of the few places which seems to be busy on a regular basis. I haven’t been to the mall in ages, and the last few times I went, even in evenings or weekends, and it’s just dead. Even Christmas this past year just looked like what used to be a regular crowd.

For that matter, even Target and Walmart starting to look empty.

LibraryGryffon on May 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Time for Carnie to come out and blame the obstructionist republicans and the sequester.

Of course, not one word about million of pages of new regulations and laws, legions of government workers doing nothing but hassling the private sector, attempted shut down of the energy industry by the EPA, millions of “disabled” and public school graduates that can’t even form a cogent independent thought/analyssi and have the ethics and morals of a parisian street hooker.

It’s obviously all Bush’s fault.

acyl72 on May 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM

In other words, growth was really .2% per month in Q1. Wowee Zowee!
Thanks Barky. But at least Jonathan Alter thinks Obama’s done a good job overall so all this pesky bad economic data, high unemployment, slow/no growth, $7T in new debt, and scandal after scandal after scandal is just GOP obstructionism.

smfic on May 30, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Lies! Just today I saw a news report that home sales are up up up and people are spending money they don’t have to buy stuff! Also, the X-boxOne is coming out and that will send a jolt through the economy that will shatter GDP records.

In other words, all is well. All is well.

Gatsu on May 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Department stores still look dead when I go out. The only places I see large crowds of folks spending money these days is restaurants and movies.

Doughboy on May 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I take issue with the story that home sales are up. I agree that home values are up- sort of.

That is, local government across the country are “re-evaluating” the taxable values of properties in their jurisdictions upward, so they can charge property owners higher property taxes. It’s happened six times in the last five years here.

The result, they believe, is to allow them to expand spending in spite of a shrinking tax base. What it’s really doing is causing people to sell out, and move out.

The problem is, they aren’t selling the properties to new homeowners (i.e., taxpayers). Instead, the properties are being sold to mortgage brokers and real estate agents. Who then can’t unload them.

I see houses around here that are “For Sale” for upwards of three years, with progressively lower asking prices posted out front. Most are now posted at below half of their initial offer. One nice 2BR 1.5B four blocks from me has gone from over $90K to under $50K in just the last six months- and it was originally offered at $120K two years ago. Still no takers. And it’s about average.

I call BS on the “home sales are up” meme’. It should be a “real estate companies are getting hit hard by the depression” meme’.

Keep in mind that, after a certain point in time, real estate brokers can take unsold properties as a deduction on their taxes. As in “non-productive assets”. Those properties aren’t contributing much to the government’s tax base.

Still, you have to be amused when a government policy, especially one whose ethics are at best questionable, bites those who sought to profit from it squarely on the a$$.

cheers

eon

eon on May 30, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Can we have a Hot Gas poll on the president’s popularity? It would be interesting to see what portion of 1% favorable he gets. Please attach usernames to the results.

NOMOBO on May 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Can we have a Hot Gas poll on the president’s popularity? It would be interesting to see what portion of 1% favorable he gets. Please attach usernames to the results.

NOMOBO on May 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Crap. Wrong thread.

NOMOBO on May 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Speaking of Disability, where’s the 2013 SocSecurity Trustees’ Report? Could it be delayed because the numbers are suggesting an earlier-than-expected collapse of DI and OASI?

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Oooooh… good catch! I haven’t looked at that report for a while. But with the record levels of people receiving government aid, you’re right that this could greatly affect DI and OASI numbers!

dominigan on May 30, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Department stores still look dead when I go out. The only places I see large crowds of folks spending money these days is restaurants and movies.

Doughboy on May 30, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Agreed. People still need some recreation in the midst of the Great Recession… and with the increase in grocery prices and the desperation of restaurants to survive (notice how many have 2 for $20 deals for full meals?), it almost makes more sense to eat out and get the specials and save the leftovers for another meal.

dominigan on May 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

King Putt and his corpsemen say that the America is ‘On the right track.’
Never mind that bright light coming at us from the tunnel.

This mediocre wittless twit couldn’t run a half price drug store for a month and make a profit.
He said (what was it?) P/E ratio meant Proffits to Earnings Ratio. Yea, he really did. And the trolls know how to spell POTATO, right?
Here are facts:
German machine tool builders’ new orders fell 19% year-on-year during the first quarter of 2013. The result, according to data reported by the Frankfurt-based German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW), shows that domestic bookings for German machine tools continue to lag foreign orders, a situation that has troubled VDW members for much of the past year.

VDW reported domestic new orders were fell 21 percent during the first quarter, versus Q1 2012, and new orders from outside Germany dropped by 18 percent.
German machine tool builders are among the most important contributors to the global manufacturing technology industry, and within Germany machine tool manufacturing is a critical part of one the country’s most important industrial sectors, mechanical engineering. Thus, the unsteadiness in the European economy over the past year has put a strain on VDW members.

To the Future!
Thanks to the 52% Low Information Voters.
Hope all you simpletons stay home come November 2014.
Otherwise, we’re phucked.

Missilengr on May 30, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Sorry I missed this yesterday. Still, another 350+ are out of work. And what is the average stay on unemployment these days? six months, or forever as people jump on to SSDI in record numbers rather than keep looking for jobs that are not there.

Have we become desensitized to the steady beat of bad news?

dogsoldier on May 31, 2013 at 5:55 AM