In the wake of dismal retail sales numbers for March and inventories for February, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow Forecast rose to 0.2 percentage points to +0.3%.

I expected a dip to -0.3% because inventories and sales were both down.

We have seen these kinds of results before, so this is not shocking. Most likely, the numbers were factored into preliminary reports and today’s numbers were slightly better than expected.

It is tough gaming these numbers precisely because it is difficult to know what is priced in. Apparently bad auto sales were.

GDPnow 2016-04-13

Fed vs. Fed Update

Earlier this week the New York Fed announced its own GDP Nowcast. The NY Fed version comes out Friday. Unfortunately the scales do not precisely match so it’s hard to line up charts directly.

I played around with the NY Fed chart a bit, increasing the size, and this alignment is close enough to see where the models diverged.

GDPnow 2016-04-13A

Current Scorecard

  • Atlanta Fed +0.3
  • New York Fed +1.1

The New York Fed has an update Friday. Will the models start to converge?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock