US real GDP for Q1-2016 had its third and final revision in this reporting cycle, and was +1.1% on an annualized basis compared to Q4-2015. Q1 had been reported as +0.5% in its advance report, +0.8% in the preliminary report, and now as +1.1%. Real GDP remains very low compared to the post-WW2 +3.3% rate.
Because of the variability that occurs in quarterly reporting, we have always preferred to use a comparison to the same period from a year ago, and to exclude the effect of inventories. Real GDP compared to Q1-2015 is up +2.09%, and without inventories up +2.38%.
The economy has slowed since Q3-2014, and recent events prior to Brexit caused the Fed to reduce its forecast of the economy to be in the +2% range and to delay rate increases. There are still many economic indicators that are newly in recession territory, such as manufacturing and durable goods orders. Many of those same indicators have not surpassed levels prior to the recession.
While this report is labeled as the final report for Q1 GDP. there will be significant revisions to many years of GDP data at the end of July. Early indications are that recent years economic reports will be revised down slightly. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has stated that there will be changes to their seasonal adjustments in the historical series as well.
Because July 1 is a Friday, the employment report will not be released until the next Friday, July 8. This allows for the usual time the Bureau of Labor Statistics requires to prepare their estimates.