4/30: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

First quarter GDP growth rose sharply to 3.2 percent for initial estimate

According to an initial estimate, U.S. GDP rose 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019 due largely to inventory investments and rising exports, which is about double than what was being forecast just a few weeks ago.  It’s also up sharply from the previous quarter’s 2.2 percent.   However, as more data comes in for the second and third estimates, this number will be revised.



Consumer sentiment index remains at favorable levels not seen since the end of 1990s

The Sentiment Index has averaged 97.2 in the past 28 months, identical to the April 2019 reading, and recording only small monthly variations since Trump first entered office. The last time consumer sentiment was as favorable for as long a period of time was during the late stages of the Clinton expansion.



Inflation tracker PCE Price Index up 0.2 percent in March and 1.5 percent year-on-year

The March PCE Price Index rose 0.2 percent from February and 1.5 percent year-on-year.  The ‘core’ rate (minus energy and food) was flat in March and rose 1.6 percent year-on-year.  The Fed prefers to keep annual inflation closer to 2.0 percent.