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Economists See Bounce Back In Upcoming Q2 GDP Number From Dismal Q1

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Economists predict a big bounce back for the second-quarter Gross Domestic Product to three percent expansion in a U.S. Commerce Department report expected Wednesday.

The upcoming reading from the Bureau of Economic Analysis follows a dismal first quarter, when weather and weak healthcare spending helped the economy to contract by 2.9 percent -- its worst performance since early 2009.

On average, economists expect Wednesday's unrevised "first read" will show an expansion of about three percent. Coupled with the first quarter, that suggests an average zero growth rate for the first half of 2014.

If three percent growth is considered not bad, the second-quarter outlook is a bit darker than earlier in the period, when the average forecast called for four percent expansion.

Economists continued to slash their second-quarter forecasts even further as recently as last week, when the June U.S. durable goods report showed a 1.2 percent decline in non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft.

Overall, last week's report showed a 0.7 percent gain in orders for durable goods, after a contraction of one percent in May.

On the downside for the pending GDP report, earlier this month the Census Bureau said retail sales for June showed a disappointing 0.2 percent gain in June, even as inflation gained 0.3 percent.

On the upside: the Case Shiller Home Price index released Tuesday showed a 9.3 percent gain from year ago, with a 6.1 percent unemployment rate from comparatively strong recent gains.

A report on consumer confidence is also expected to show a moderate uptick from a month earlier.

Posted-In: News Econ #s


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