A couple weeks ago, the Commerce Department said U.S. economic output expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1% in the first three months of the year. A near-stall for the economy, for sure, but at least it wasn’t worse.
That initial estimate was the government’s best guess, using the data available at the time. Based on more up-to-date figures, including the March trade data released last week, private forecasters now expect gross domestic product contracted in the first quarter for the first time in three years.[...[
Incorporating the new data, J.P. Morgan ChaseJPM -0.05% on Tuesday estimated GDP contracted at a 0.8% rate in the first quarter. Macroeconomic Advisers put the contraction at 0.7%. Barclays Capital predicted a 0.6% decline. Pierpont Securitiesestimated output fell at a 0.4% rate. Action Economics estimated a 0.2% decline.