Two months after the first take of Q1 GDP surprised to the upside, printing at 2.3%, more than the 2.0% consensus estimate, and one month after the second estimate of 2.2%, missed expectations of 2.3%, moments ago the BEA reported its third and final Q1 GDP estimate, which declined again to 2.0%, and below the estimate 2.2%.
The reason for the second consecutive decline in the GDP calculatesion was a downward revision to Personal Consumption, which declined from an annualized bottom line contribution of 0.71% in the last estimate to 0.60%; additionally there was a drip in Private Inventories, which declined from the initial reading of 0.0.13% to a negative -0.01% print, however offset by another increase in Fixed Investment from 1.05% to 1.23%. Meanwhile, net trade was also revised modestly lower, down from 0.08% in the second estimate to -0.04% currently.
There was a bit of a positive surprise for inflation watchers, as the GDP price index rose 2.2%, more than the 1.9% expected in 1Q, after rising 2.3% in the prior quarter. Meanwhile, core PCE q/q rose 2.3% in 1Q after rising 1.9% prior quarter.
The more concerning print was the ongoing drip in personal consumption, which was again revised lower from 2.75% in Q4 to just 0.60%, the lowest since Q2 2013, largely as a result of a sharp drop in spending on autos and various other durable goods.
Separately, corporate profits increased 1.8 percent at a quarterly rate in the first quarter of 2018 after decreasing 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Over the last 4 quarters, corporate profits increased 6.8 percent.
As the BEA reports, profits of domestic non-financial corporations increased 2.2% after increasing 1.5%. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased 1.5 percent after decreasing 3.0 percent. Profits from the rest of the world increased 0.8 percent after decreasing 1.3 percent.
With the data now quite stale, and reflecting a period of time that is almost three months ago, there was virtually no change across any asset class.
What is more important for the market is that Q2 GDP is when the Trump fiscal stimulus appears to have kicked in, with most estimate now expecting prints in the 4% range, with some looking for a number over 5%.
But then again - remember in Q1 when 'expectations' were for a 5.4% GDP print?