Second-Quarter GDP Report Should Exceed Wall Street's Expectations

by: Eddy Elfenbein

Eddy Elfenbein submits: This Friday, the government will report how much GDP grew in the second quarter. I’m curious what this report will say because I think it will be far stronger than most people realize.

The consensus on Wall Street is that the economy grew by 3% for the second three months of the year (this is after inflation). Speaking for myself, I would be surprised if GDP growth comes in any less than 3.4%.

The economy has grown pretty impressively for the last three years. The annualized growth rate is almost exactly 4% (3.997%). That’s faster than the 3.81% growth rate from 1998 through 2000. The fourth quarter of last year was a dud, probably due to Katrina, but we’ve apparently shaken off that slowdown.

For the first quarter, the economy grew by over 5.6%. Once the economy gets moving, it doesn’t often go off the rails so quickly. I should also mention that the GDP report will be updated twice more, and these revisions can be quite big. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bureau of Economic Analysis ditch the early reports. I’d rather get good numbers later than bad ones early.

The GDP report will be released this Friday at 8:30 am.