Today’s GDP report from the BEA jogs my memory of the Peggy Lee track “Is That All There Is?” Between the huge Fed financial stimulus since late 2008 (and notably since Covid in 2020) and all of the Federal spending (Covid aid, Inflation discount, Omnipork spending invoice, and many others.), US actual GDP rose by solely 2.9% in This fall from Q3.
However indicators of slowing underlying demand mounted because the steepest interest-rate hikes in many years threaten development this yr.
Gross home product elevated at a 2.9% annualized fee in remaining three months of 2022 after a 3.2% acquire within the third quarter, the Commerce Division’s preliminary estimate confirmed Thursday.
Private consumption, the most important a part of the economic system, climbed at a below-forecast 2.1% tempo (forecast was for two.9%). Once more,
The report additionally confirmed some indicators of stress for American shoppers whose wages have didn’t sustain with inflation and continued to encourage them to attract down financial savings accrued from authorities pandemic-relief applications. The burden of elevated costs and better borrowing prices is mounting, pointing to a tenuous outlook for the economic system.
A key gauge of underlying demand that strips out the commerce and inventories elements — inflation-adjusted remaining gross sales to home purchasers — rose an annualized 0.8% within the fourth quarter after a 1.5% acquire.
Core PCE development grew at 3.9%, however is slowing already as M2 Cash development dies.
Inventory-index futures and Treasury yields remained increased and the greenback was little modified after the GDP report and better-than-expected weekly jobless claims. Purposes for unemployment insurance coverage dropped to 186,000 final week, the bottom since April.
Latest knowledge present cracks are growing extra broadly. Retail and motorcar gross sales knowledge confirmed households are beginning to retrench, the housing market continues to weaken and a few companies are reconsidering capital spending plans.
Because the Federal Reserve continues to hike rates of interest to make sure inflation is extinguished, housing and manufacturing have deteriorated rapidly whereas industries together with banking and know-how are finishing up mass layoffs.
The GDP report confirmed the non-public consumption expenditures worth index, a key inflation metric for the Fed, rose at an annualized 3.2% fee within the fourth quarter, down from a 4.3% tempo within the prior three months. The core index that excludes meals and vitality climbed at a 3.9% fee in contrast with 4.7% paces within the prior two quarters. Month-to-month knowledge for December might be launched Friday.
The moderation in worth pressures is in line with forecasts that the Fed will additional cut back its tightening marketing campaign subsequent week, when it’s anticipated to boost charges by 25 foundation factors. Policymakers boosted the benchmark fee by 50 factors in December after 75 basis-point hikes at their earlier 4 conferences.
The world’s largest economic system expanded 2.1% final yr. In 2021, when demand snapped again from pandemic-related shutdowns, the economic system grew 5.9% — the perfect efficiency since 1984.
The GDP knowledge confirmed providers spending elevated at 2.6% annualized fee within the October-December interval, the slowest since final yr’s first quarter. Outlays on items rose at a 1.1% tempo, the primary advance since 2021.
Enterprise funding slowed sharply after a third-quarter surge. Spending on tools declined an annualized 3.7%, probably the most because the second quarter of 2020. Outlays for constructions rose at a 0.4% tempo.
Let’s hope the BEA isn’t padding the numbers just like the BLS was caught doing within the first half of 2022.
Lastly, US Actual GDP development YoY FELL to solely 0.95925% as M2 Cash development disappears.