2014, Finishing Strong
New data this morning is helping confirm that 2014 is shaping up to be a pretty good year, economically speaking, said our senior research fellow, Bob Hughes. The Commerce Department on Tuesday revised upward its estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), or the value of a country’s finished goods and services. The department raised its third-quarter headline GDP to 5.0 percent, up from its estimate of 3.9 percent a month ago.
There were pretty sizable upward revisions in many areas, including consumer spending, fixed investment, trade and government spending, Hughes noted, although inventories were slightly lower. The economy heads into the fourth quarter with “strong momentum,” which makes it likely that despite the weather-influenced negative numbers for first quarter GDP, 2014 will end up looking pretty good on balance, Hughes said.
In other news this morning, a Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey confirmed that Americans are the most confident in the economy since 2007. And the Commerce Department today released numbers on personal income and spending that showed an upward trajectory.
But despite a long list of positive economic indicators recently, the new housing market “remains pretty weak,” Hughes said, after the Commerce Department reported this morning that new home sales fell in November.