US Q2 GDP printed at an annualized rate of 1.5%, just slightly above expectations of 1.4%, and a 25% drop from the Q1 rate of 2.0%, with personal consumption plunging as a key contributor from 1.72% to just 1.05%, and government once again being less and less a detractor from "economic growth." Inventories "added" 0.32% to GDP, a number which in Q3 GDP will subtract from economic "growth." Now whether this headline number is bad enough for the Fed to decide on more QE, is up to Hilsenrath to decide. But in a Bizarro world in which only horrible data boosts the market, today's modest beat will likely not make the market happy, nor sellers of newsletters in which the only strategy is hope and prayer. And just as important, today the BEA revised historical GDP data retroactively. Of note 2010 GDP was revised from 3.0% to 2.4%, while Q3 2011 GDP was revised from 3.0% to 4.1%, indicating that the slowdown we are experiencing is in fact far worse than previously expected. It also shows that HFT trigger buying or selling on GDP data is completely meaningless as today's data will be revised violently higher or lower in a year, making it completely irrelevant.
Q2 GDP breakdown: