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GDPNowLatest Forecast: 2.0 Percent — April 26, 2018

The final GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2018 is 2.0 percent on April 26, unchanged from April 17. The nowcast of the contribution of net exports to first-quarter real GDP growth increased from -0.68 percentage points to -0.30 percentage points after this morning's advance release on international trade in goods from the U.S. Census Bureau. This increase was offset by a decline in the nowcast of real nonresidential equipment investment growth from 7.0 percent to 4.2 percent after this morning's durable manufacturing release from the Census Bureau and a decline in the nowcast of the contribution of inventory investment to real GDP growth from 1.07 percentage points to 0.81 percentage points after the manufacturing release and this morning's advance release on retail and wholesale trade inventories from the Census Bureau.

The Bloomberg Econoday consensus estimate is 2.0% in a range of 1.3% to 2.8%.

Real final sales is the key number. That's the bottom-line GDP estimate as inventory adjustments net to zero over time.

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If the GDPNow real final sales estimate is correct, and its track record has been better than Nowcast, we will have a weak first quarter GDP report.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock