Tags: Economists | GDP | 1.4percentgrowth

WSJ Economists' Survey: GDP Rose Just 1.4 Percent in First Quarter

By    |   Monday, 13 April 2015 08:00 AM

If you thought the 2.2 percent GDP growth in the fourth quarter indicated a sluggish economy, wait until you see the first-quarter number, which will be released April 29.

A survey of 62 economists by The Wall Street Journal produced a growth forecast of only 1.4 percent for the first quarter, down from an expected growth forecast of 3 percent in January.

Much of the damage came from a strong dollar, the economists said. The Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, hit a 12-year high last month amid the global currency war.

A rising dollar hurts the economy by widening our trade gap, as it makes our exports more expensive in foreign currency terms and our imports cheaper in dollar terms.

The ascendant greenback also has taken a bite out of many U.S. companies' earnings by lowering the value of their foreign revenue when it's converted into dollars.

Many experts expect the dollar to continue rising. "I can't give a time, but I think the dollar will reach parity with the euro at some point," Kevin Swift, economist at the American Chemistry Council, told The Journal. The euro traded at $1.0599 around midday Friday.

For the year, the economists expect GDP to be 2.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the U.S. currency's surge has thrown a wrench into the Federal Reserve's planning for interest rate hikes.

"If the dollar goes higher, the Fed is not likely to raise rates," star investor Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital, said in a call with investors last week, Think Advisor reports.

The minutes of the Fed's March policy meeting noted that some policymakers "anticipated that the effects of energy price declines and the dollar's appreciation would continue to weigh on inflation in the near term, suggesting that conditions likely would not be appropriate to begin raising rates until later in the year [after June.]"

Gundlach's take: "Clearly the Fed is cognizant of the strong dollar, and that gave the short-term yield curve a bit of a boost recently."

Many economists predict the Fed to raise rates in September. It has kept its federal funds rate target at a record low of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008.

© 2019 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
StreetTalk
If you thought the 2.2 percent GDP growth in the fourth quarter indicated a sluggish economy, wait until you see the first-quarter number, which will be released April 29.
Economists, GDP, 1.4percentgrowth
366
2015-00-13
Monday, 13 April 2015 08:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved