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Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model is known for predicting GDP readings that start out exceedingly high and eventually recoil back to trend.

But Monday's reading shows expectations for just 0.3% growth in the first quarter of 2019. It followed a weak U.S. construction spending report that badly missed expectations.

The big picture: Since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, the metric has largely trended upward, but has fallen significantly since the beginning of the third quarter in 2018.

  • Keep in mind: "GDPNow is not an official forecast of the Atlanta Fed. Rather, it is best viewed as a running estimate of real GDP growth based on available data for the current measured quarter," the Atlanta Fed notes. "There are no subjective adjustments made to GDPNow — the estimate is based solely on the mathematical results of the model."

What to watch: Goldman Sachs analysts estimate GDP will come in at 0.9%, calling the first quarter a "GDP pothole."

  • What they're saying: "While this would mark a significant deceleration, we expect much of this weakness to reflect temporary factors likely to shift growth to Q2," analysts said in a note to clients. They highlighted 3 key factors: "residual seasonality, the government shutdown, and tax refund delays."

Go deeper: The U.S. economy grew 2.9% in 2018

Go deeper

Cyber war scales up with new Microsoft hack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last week's revelation of a new cyberattack on thousands of small businesses and organizations, on top of last year's SolarWinds hack, shows we've entered a new era of mass-scale cyber war.

Why it matters: In a world that's dependent on interlocking digital systems, there's no escaping today's cyber conflicts. We're all potential victims even if we're not participants.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
26 mins ago - Science

Spaceflight contests and our future in orbit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wealthy private citizens are increasingly becoming the arbiters of who can go to space — and some of them want to bring the average person along for the ride.

Why it matters: Space is being opened up to people who wouldn't have had the prospect of flying there even five years ago, but these types of missions have far-reaching implications for who determines who gets to make use of space and for what.

1 hour ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.

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