First Quarter GDP Revised Lower; Economy Shrunk 0.7 Percent

The economy hasn’t fully recovered since its slowdown during first-quarter, one economist said.
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The economy hasn’t fully recovered since its slowdown during first-quarter, one economist said. First-quarter gross domestic product fell 0.7 percent, the Commerce Department said on Friday, compared to a previously reported expansion of 0.2 percent. Even though GDP is a lagging indicator, the economy isn’t out of the woods just yet. ‘The data is still mixed,’ said Michael Hanson, senior U.S. economist at Bank of America (BAC) Merrill Lynch. ‘It’s definitely better than the steady stream of bad data we had earlier in the year, but it’s not really compelling yet.’ While cold weather and the west coast port dispute were factors, Hanson points to a wider trade deficit as one of the culprits for Friday’s downward GDP revision. And while a rate hike announcement during the Fed’s June meeting in just over two weeks is unlikely, Hanson said a September liftoff is on the table, despite lackluster economic growth during the beginning of 2015. ‘The threshold for the Fed hiking may not be all that high,’ he added. ‘If inflation moves sideways and not down, that’s probably good enough.’ TheStreet's Scott Gamm speaks with Hanson.