Second quarter economic growth was weaker than expected (though still the second-highest print since 2003), increasing 6.5% versus the 8.5% expectations (annualized real growth rates). The gains were largely driven by the consumer, with personal consumption jumping 11.8% that was fairly evenly split among services and goods, rising 12.0% and 11.6%, respectively. However, the miss was an unexpected $166B drop in inventories as well as falls in both residential and commercial building. Inventories are expected to be a positive role in the second half of the year, with even a halting in the fall of inventories being able to contribute 3.5% to GDP growth in Q3.
The infrastructure bill is back on the table, after hitting a few hurdles, with an announcement from the lead Republican and Democratic negotiators that a deal on the “major issues” had been reached and the Senate voted on Friday to begin debate on the package and the text of the $550B bill being sent to the full Senate yesterday. A final vote could come as early as this week.
Across the S&P 500 the Q2 earnings season has, so far, been strong with more companies beating EPS estimates, and by a wider margin, than an average quarter and the highest year-over-year growth in earnings since the fourth quarter 2009.