The Atlanta Fed forecast as of July 14 is was +2.3% annualized for Q2, which is far below initial estimates of most professional forecasters, and below their current forecasts as well, and likely to be lowered further due to recent data.
The first government estimate for Q2 GDP will be released on July 30th. June trade numbers will not be released until August, and it looks to me like May was a zig that could zag in June and could cause a downward revision to Q2 GDP.
Inventories also look high to me which means a correction would further reduce Q2 GDP, and the low productivity numbers and decelerating employment reports tell me business is overstaffed for the current pace of sales and likely to adjust accordingly as well.
The economy before the 2004 rate hikes vs now:
Another strong surplus:
The seasonally adjusted trade balance returned another healthy surplus in May. At E21.2 billion the black ink was short of April’s slightly downwardly revised E23.9 billion but still above the E20 billion mark for the fourth time so far this year.
The deterioration in the headline reflected a 1.5 percent monthly fall in exports, their first drop since January. Imports were flat. Annual growth of the former was 3.0 percent and of the latter 0.0 percent.
At E2.6 billion the average surplus in April/May was 6.4 percent above its first quarter mean which points to a probable small positive contribution from total net exports to second quarter real GDP growth. Quite apart from the weakness of the oil market, the current soft level of the euro should help to ensure continued strong trade data over the rest of 2015.
This is just the euro area, also in surplus:
Italy in surplus as well:
The seasonally adjusted trade balance was in a E4.3 billion surplus in May following a marginally larger revised E3.6 billion excess in April.
The headline gain was mainly attributable to stronger exports which rose 1.5 percent from April, their third increase in the last four months. Much of this came courtesy of a 28.4 percent jump in the energy sector excluding which exports were up only 0.6 percent. Consumer goods (2.2 percent) had a good period but intermediates were only flat and capital goods were weak (minus 0.3 percent). Compared with May 2015 exports were 2.0 percent stronger.
Imports fell a monthly 0.3 percent, largely due to a 5.3 percent slump in energy although capital goods also struggled (minus 0.9 percent). Annual import growth was 0.5 percent.