FYI: Using Fed's Inflation Measure GDP Would Be Negative

Takeaway: Today's update on 1Q16 GDP was revised up to 0.8% vs the prior estimate of 0.5% but while using a misleading measure of inflation.

FYI: Using Fed's Inflation Measure GDP Would Be Negative - GDP cartoon 02.29.2016 

 

With a "0" in front of GDP and S&P earnings growth -8.5% y/y, should the Federal Reserve raise rates in June?

 

There's no debating the earnings recession anymore but, with Macro consensus predicting 2Q16 GDP growth of +2.3%  and the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNowcast at 2.9%, so it's worth reviewing our #GrowthSlowing call.

 

Today's 1Q16 GDP estimate was revised up to 0.8% versus the first estimate of 0.5%.

 

That's misleading.

 

In calculating economic growth, the government used the sub-1% GDP Deflator, which stands at 0.6%. Meanwhile, if the US Government used the Federal Reserve's prefered measure of inflation, core PCE which now reads 2.1%, US GDP would have been NEGATIVE in Q1.

 

Look at the difference between the two inflation measures in the table below:

 

 

In related news, this marks the 5th straight quarter where Hedgeye's Predictive Tracking Algorithm has been within 20-30bps of nailing GDP. That's more than we can say for the Fed and Old Wall Consensus which have an average quarterly intra-quarter tracking error of between 152 to 246 basis points.

 

#AccuracyWins


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