vrijdag 26 mei 2017

Q1 GDP Revised To 1.2% On Stronger Spending, Capex, While Corporate Profits Tumble

After a very disappointing first Q1 GDP print of only 0.7%, on Friday the BEA reported that its second estimate of first quarter growth showed a sizable rebound, with annualized GDP growing at 1.2%, above the 0.9% estimate. The growth rate, however, was still well below the 2.1% print from Q4 2016...


The increase in real GDP was accounted for by increases in business investment, housing investment, consumer spending on services, and exports. These increases were partly offset by decreases in inventory investment, and government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction from GDP, increased. The upward revision to the second estimate of GDP growth reflected upward revisions in business investment, consumer spending in services, and state and local government spending. These upward revisions were partly offset by a downward revision to inventory investment...


Of note, personal consumption contributed 0.44% to the bottom GDP line, up nearly double from the 0.23% reported one month ago. In a longer-term context, however, it was still a disappointing number...


Similarly, fixed investment rose to 1.85% in the second revision, up from 1.62% reported in the first revision. Yet while the headline data showed a modest improvement, one which will likely subtract from "pent up" Q2 GDP growth, a more troubling observation was revealed in the corporate profits estimation, which decreased 1.9% at a quarterly rate in the first quarter of 2017 after increasing 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
- Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased 1.4 percent after decreasing 4.9 percent.
- Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased 5.5 percent after increasing 5.4 percent.
- Profits from the rest of the world increased 1.4 percent after increasing 11.0 percent.
- Y/y corp. profits grew 3.7% in 1Q after rising 9.3% prior quarter
- Financial industry profits declined 5.5% in 1Q after rising 5.4% prior quarter
- Federal Reserve bank profits up 2.7% in 1Q after falling 1.8% prior quarter
- Nonfinancial sector profits fell 1.6% in 1Q after falling 4.9% prior quarter...


A big part of the reason why this number differs so notably from the alleged surge in profitability, is that it avoid non-GAAP adjustments and various other gimmicks used by management teams to boost their stock prices and increase stock-linked compensation. And now we await for the sellside to start cutting their Q2 GDP estimates as a result of this "bringing forward" of growth back to the first quarter....