First-quarter growth is now tracking at just 0.9 percent, after new data showed surprising weakness in consumer spending and a wider-than-expected trade gap.
According to the CNBC/Moody’s Analytics rapid update, economists now see the sluggish growth pace based on already reported data, down from 1.4 percent last week. According to the rapid update, economists have a median forecast of 1.6 percent growth in first-quarter GDP, which includes their estimates for data not yet released.
“It’s not a polar vortex winter. You can’t blame the weather this year. It’s the consumer. I think there’s a problem with the measurement but at the end of the day if the world were as good as we’d hoped, people would feel better and it’s not showing up,” said Diane Swonk of DS Economics.