U.S. Outlook: The hard vs. soft data conundrum revisited

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

U.S. economic indicators have been throwing off mixed messages.

Graph comparing hard and soft data of US Economic Surprise Index

In this week’s report we show how truly unusual the current divergence between “soft” data surprises and the “hard” data surprises really is.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 14.

Key observations:

  • It may be too late to expect much of any bounce in the hard data indexes from the burst of confidence since November.
  • Confidence measures could correct lower in the months ahead rather than for the U.S. economy to see a strong acceleration in growth.
  • Our GDP growth estimate for Q1 slipped below 1.0% annualized this week.
  • We are currently forecasting a below-consensus rebound in GDP growth in Q2 of 2.4%.

Click here to read my full report.

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