Investing Article

Q1 GDP: Investment

04/28/2017 - 9:59am By: Calculated Risk

First, the soft Q1 GDP data is part of a recent trend of weak first quarters, and was mostly due to weak PCE and inventory adjustment - no worries. It was pretty clear that PCE would be weak in Q1 (see two-month method). However investment was solid. The first graph below shows the contribution to GDP from residential investment, equipment and software, and nonresidential structures (3 quarter trailing average). This is important to follow because residential investment tends to lead the economy, equipment and software is generally coincident, and nonresidential structure investment trails the economy. In the graph, red is residential, green is equipment and software, and blue is investment in non-residential structures. So the usual pattern - both into and out of recessions is - red, green, blue...

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