MA’s Ben Herzon was recently quoted in the article “Why you should be skeptical of the biggest excuse for the weak economy” by Chico Harlan for The Washington Post (excerpts shown below). GDP is tugged in all directions by a litany of factors: government spending, tax policy, trade, and consumer confidence, just to name a few. Snowfall amounts to one more factor, Macroeconomic Advis[e]rs senior economist Ben Herzon said. “The correlation might not be very high,” Herzon said, “But we can still estimate pretty accurately the contribution.” Click here for the full article
Monthly GDP rose 0.4% in February following a 0.1% increase in January that was revised down fourth-tenths. The increase in February reflected increases in nonfarm inventory investment and net exports there were partially offset by a decline in domestic final sales. The level of monthly GDP averaged over January and February was 1.2% above the fourth-quarter average at an annual rate. Implicit in our latest tracking forecast of 1.5% GDP growth in the first quarter is no change in monthly GDP in March. Click here for more information on MA’s Monthly GDP measure.