Jul 25, 2019

Atlanta and New York Fed forecasts see weaker Q2 GDP

NoteData: New York Fed and Atlanta Fed; Chart: Axios Visuals

Ahead of today's second quarter U.S. GDP report, estimates from economists and market analysts have varied from as low as 1% to higher than 3% after a strong first quarter.

By the numbers: The forecasts from the Atlanta and New York Fed ended up uncharacteristically close to one another, suggesting a major slowdown from Q1's 3.1% year-over-year GDP gain.

Go deeper: The difficulty with predicting GDP

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Trump ups the ante on his Fed feud

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Just as the Fed seems poised to announce the first interest rate cut since the financial crisis, President Trump took his feud with the central bank one step further, saying it "has made all the wrong moves."

Why it matters: In previous administrations, it would have been unthinkable for the president to publicly lobby for a rate cut, which Trump says will goose the economy. And even though Trump may have unintentionally gotten everything he's wanted from the Fed so far, he is pushing for even more. On Monday, he tweeted: "A small rate cut is not enough, but we will win anyway!"

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019

Q3 GDP expected above 2% after hot retail sales report

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The Atlanta Fed raised its GDPNow forecast to 2.2% for the third quarter — higher than many economists are predicting, but well below enough to bring 2019's growth to the 3%-4% President Trump has sought.

Why it matters: The bump came after U.S. retail sales surged above expectations in July and sales at retailers including Amazon and Best Buy posted their biggest increase in 4 months. A strong earnings report from Walmart also helped drive optimism that American consumers are still shopping and perhaps are confident enough to carry the economy through trade war tensions.

Go deeper: Store closures don't mean retail is dead

Keep ReadingArrowAug 16, 2019

Jay Powell's constraints

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Jay Powell did his best impression this week of a Fed chair making his own data-driven decisions about where he should set short-term interest rates. The reality, however, is that the markets and the president are giving him very little choice.

Driving the news: Powell cut interest rates on Wednesday — the first time the Fed has done so in over a decade. In doing so, he effectively fulfilled a prophecy that the fixed-income markets (and even the stock market) had been making for all of 2019. They saw the rate cut coming long before the Fed was willing to admit it, and they were right all along.

Go deeperArrowAug 4, 2019