U.S. GDP dropped by 0.2% in the second quarter (quarter over quarter) to a 0.9% annual rate of contraction.
We won’t get an official call of “recession” at the earliest until economists see the labor market head south and the economic cycle guys quite probably won’t call a recession until it’s over, but I think the commonsense definition–two down quarters in a row for GDP growth–is a good indicator for investors. Consumers and companies are behaving like it’s a recession with shoppers spending money on groceries and not on furniture and CEOs announcing pending job cuts. And that’s all stuff that shows up in the revenue top line and in the earnings bottom line.
Here’s a bit more detail on what the Commerce Department reported this morning.
The 0.2 percent decline for the second quarter followed a contraction of 0.4 percent in the first three months of the year.
Momentum indicators pointed downward with business investment and construction activity both falling. (Activity in these two sectors was up in the first quarter.) Home construction fell at a 4% annual rate. Business construction, known as fixed investment in nonresidential structures, dropped at an annual rate of 11.7%