U.S. Economy Upgraded One Day After Yield Curve Panic

President Donald Trump speaks at Shell's Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Monaca, Pa. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Life moves pretty fast. And so does economic and financial news.

Just one day after the yield curve inverted, stoking fears that the U.S. economy could be approaching a recession, a huge batch of economic data sent economists scrambling to raise their forecasts for U.S. growth.

The good data included better than expected retail sales, stronger than expected survey results on the manufacturing sector from the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banks, and better than expected productivity gains. Industrial production numbers disappointed but much of that appeared to be due to Boeing’s problems.

The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow moved its reading of third-quarter GDP from 1.9 percent to 2.2 percent. The CNBC Rapid Update, a survey of economists, moved up from 1.9 to 2.1 percent. Several other economists also announced that they were upgrading their views of the economy based on the strong data, particularly the strength of the U.S. consumer.

“The U.S. consumer cannot rescue the world but it can insulate the U.S. economy from the world’s problems,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, said in an interview on CNBC Thursday.

Stocks were also buoyed by the news of economic strength. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 100 points, a 0.39 percent gain. The S&P 500 was up by a quarter of a percentage point. The Nasdaq composite was close to flat for the day.


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