10/14/2019

Some Economists Boost Estimates for U.S. Growth

Economists are raising their estimates of second-quarter U.S. growth after new government figures showed a smaller-than-expected trade deficit for May.

The Commerce Department on Wednesday reported the trade deficit in goods narrowed 3.7% in May from the prior month, as exports climbed 2.1% and imports rose a more modest 0.2%. Export growth adds to the goods and services produced by a nation, boosting output growth, while import growth means more of what a nation consumes is produced abroad and isn’t counted in domestic production.

. . . Based on Wednesday’s report, some forecasters upgraded their estimates for growth in the second quarter, which ends this weekend. Macroeconomic Advisers raised its second-quarter gross domestic product forecast to a 5.3% seasonally adjusted annual growth rate; as of Monday, the firm had been predicting a 4.6% growth rate.

If the latest forecast holds up, it would be the strongest quarterly growth reading since the third quarter of 2003, edging the 5.2% growth rate recorded in the third quarter of 2014.

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