I’m not sure if I like to keep track of economic estimates because I’m interested in improving my analytical skills, or just because I’m a sadist:
On average, the economists estimate that gross domestic product will fall at an annual rate of 1.8% in the current quarter, and then only pick up slowly, growing 0.7% in the third quarter, and 1.8% in the fourth.
On the one hand, consumer confidence is up. On the other hand, Case-Shiller housing prices are now down 32 percent from peak. According to Keynes, it’s the animal spirits that count. I suspect the increasingly negative wealth affect will trump that. So, I don’t know about Q2 or Q3, but I expect Q4 to be negative. And speaking of houses, I can’t help but noticing NAR isn’t doing so well calculating their preliminary existing home prices, as three percent is a sizeable revision. The first number is from the April report, the second from the May report.
Jan09: 164,800 164,800
Feb09: 168,200 168,200
Mar09: 175,200 169,900
Apr09: —,— 170,200