Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
First quarter GDP fell at a 1.4% annualized rate, surprising economists who had expected a 1.0% gain. The contraction was linked to trade, inventories, and, to a lesser extent, less government spending. While those weighed on GDP, strong consumer demand, with real final sales growing at a 2.6% annualized rate, may indicate growth may soon return and contribute to the surge in imports underlying the trade numbers.
Income growth slowed down in March, growing at 0.5% vs. 0.7% in February. While wage growth remains solid, rising 0.6%, it is slower than inflation, which is continuing to put pressure on consumers.
While still relatively early, first quarter earnings are more mixed thus far than in recent quarters, with a few high profile misses. However, more companies are beating earnings estimates than the five-year average, but the sizes of those surprises have been a bit lower. Overall earnings growth is estimated to be 7.1% based upon actual report results and estimates for those that haven’t reported yet, which is below the five-year average of 8.9%, and the first quarter with single-digit earnings growth since Q4 2020, assuming current trends hold.
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