Northern Trusts’ Director of Economic Research, Paul Kasriel has released his monthly economic outlook:
Real GDP contracted at annualized rates of 6.3% and 6.1%, respectively in Q4:2008 and Q1:2009. These rates of contraction would appear to be the largest that are likely to occur before real economic growth commences in Q4:2009. After having contracted in the second half of 2008, real personal consumption expenditures grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in Q1:2009. Although we expect that real consumption will resume its contraction in the second and third quarters of this year before posting growth again in the fourth quarter, the worst seems to be over for consumer spending. While overall nominal retail sales declined by 0.4% in April, total nominal chain store sales increased by 0.6%. With more autos and trucks being scrapped than new ones being produced, it is highly likely that the bottom of motor vehicle sales has been reached.
Kasriel is one of the best forecasters around. Read the whole thing.