Thursday, June 28, 2007

Final GDP and GDP Price Index Revised Slightly Higher, Job Market Still Healthy

- Final 1Q GDP rose .7% versus estimates of a .8% gain and a prior estimate of a .6% gain.

- Final 1Q Personal Consumption rose 4.2% versus estimates of a 4.4% gain and a prior estimate of a 4.4% increase.

- Final 1Q GDP Price Index rose 4.2% versus estimates of a 4.2% gain and a prior estimate of a 4.0% increase.

- Final 1Q Core PCE QoQ rose 2.4% versus estimates of a 2.2% gain and a prior estimate of a 2.2% increase.

- Initial Jobless Claims for last week fell to 313K versus estimates of 315K and 326K the prior week.

- Continuing Claims fell to 2490K versus estimates of 2500K and 2517K prior.

BOTTOM LINE: The US economy expanded at an annual pace of .7 percent in the first quarter, Bloomberg reported. According to economists, this quarter was the low point for the year as the trade deficit narrows and corporate spending accelerates. Spending on residential construction fell at a 15.8% annual pace last quarter versus a 19.8% pace in the fourth quarter. The decline subtracted .9 percentage point from growth. I continue to believe US growth will come in at 3%+ this quarter before decelerating modestly below trend in 3Q.

Fewer Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, signaling the labor market remains healthy, Bloomberg said. The four-week moving average of jobless claims rose to 316,000 from 315,000 the prior week. The unemployment rate among those eligible for benefits, which tracks the US unemployment rate, held steady at 1.9% for the ninth consecutive week. The unemployment rate is currently a historically low 4.5%. I continue to believe the job market will remain healthy over the intermediate-term without generating substantial unit labor costs increases.

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