Thursday, April 29, 2004

The 2004:I GDP data is in, and the numbers look solid although under expectations.
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2004,
according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real
GDP increased 4.1 percent.
Economists' consensus forecast was 5.0% growth.

While there is a lot to sift through, I offer this observation as an initial shot across the bow. The BEA's preliminary figures show a 2004:I trade deficit of $520.2bn at an annualized rate -- 5% larger than in 2003:IV -- with the quarterly figure coming to $130.1bn. We already know that the trade deficit for January and February 2004 totals $85.5bn. A little simple math thus shows that the March 2004 trade deficit should come in around $44.5bn.

Get ready for an announcement of yet another record trade deficit, coming soon to a front page near you!

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