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GDPNow Sees Q1 10%

March 3, 2021

The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) is a key indicator of economic activity, but the official estimate is released with a delay. The GDPNow forecasting model provides a "nowcast" of the official estimate prior to its release by estimating GDP growth using a methodology similar to the one used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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 economic data for the current measured quarter. There are no subjective adjustments made to GDPNow—the estimate is based solely on the mathematical results of the model. In particular, it does not capture the impact of COVID-19 and social mobility beyond their impact on GDP source data and relevant economic reports that have already been released. It does not anticipate their impact on forthcoming economic reports beyond the standard internal dynamics of the model.

Latest estimate: 10.0 percent — March 1, 2021

The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2021 is 10.0 percent on March 1, up from 8.8 percent on February 26. After this morning's Manufacturing ISM Report On Business from the Institute for Supply Management and the construction spending report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the nowcasts of first-quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth, first-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth, and first-quarter real government spending growth increased from 7.7 percent, 17.7 percent, and 6.9 percent, respectively, to 8.8 percent, 18.7 percent, and 9.1 percent, respectively.

The next GDPNow update is Friday, March 5.

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