Q1 GDP Advance Estimate: Real GDP Drops to 0.7%, Disappoints Forecast

The Advance Estimate for Q1 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 0.7% (0.69% to two decimal places), a significant decrease over 2.1% in the Q4 Third Estimate and a decline from 1.4% in Q1 2016 GDP. Investing.com had a consensus of 1.2%.

Here is the slightly abbreviated opening text from the Bureau of Economic Analysis news release:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 (table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 2.1 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the first-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the Advance Estimate” on page 2). The "second" estimate for the first quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on May 26, 2017. [Full Release]

Here is a look at Quarterly GDP since Q2 1947. Prior to 1947, GDP was an annual calculation. To be more precise, the chart shows is the annualized percentage change from the preceding quarter in Real (inflation-adjusted) Gross Domestic Product. We've also included recessions, which are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Also illustrated are the 3.22% average (arithmetic mean) and the 10-year moving average, currently at 1.39%.

Quarterly GDP since 1947

Here is a log-scale chart of real GDP with an exponential regression, which helps us understand growth cycles since the 1947 inception of quarterly GDP. The latest number puts us 15.1% below trend, the largest negative spread in the history of this series.

with a Regression