"Welcome To The Contraction": Q1 GDP Drops By 0.7%, Corporate Profits Crash

And you thought the preliminary 0.2% Q1 GDP print from last month was bad. Moments ago, just as we warned, the BEA released its latest, first, revision of Q1 GDP (pre second-seasonal adjustments of course), and we just got confirmation that for the third time in the past four years, the US economy suffered a quarterly contraction, with the Q1 GDP revised drastically from a 0.2% growth to a drop of -0.7%: the worst print since snow struck, so very unexpectedly, last winter.

Incidentally, there has not been a US "expansion" with three negative quarters in it in the past 60 years.

Worse, the breakdown shows that far from being a non-core slowdown, consumption rose just 1.8%, below the 2.0% expected, and contributed just 1.23% of the bottom line GDP number. This was the worst Personal Spending contribution since Q1 of last year, when revised GDP dropped by -2.11%.

What is disturbing is that as noted before, inventories contributed the biggest component of Q1 GDP growth, adding $106 billion in nominal "growth." Without that contribution, annualized GDP would have been worse than -3%!

And worst of all, was the plunge in corporate profits. According to the report:

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment (IVA) and capital consumption adjustment (CCAdj)) decreased $125.5 billion in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of $30.4 billion in the fourth.


Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $2.6 billion in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of $12.5 billion in the fourth. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $100.4 billion, in contrast to an increase of $18.1 billion. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $22.4 billion, compared with a decrease of $36.1 billion. This measure is calculated as the difference between receipts from the rest of the world and payments to the rest of the world. In the first quarter, receipts decreased $28.9 billion, and payments decreased $6.5 billion

Or visually, here was the third largest corporate profit crash since the financial crisis:

In short: welcome to the recession, which however will soon be double seasonally adjusted into another flourishing, of only stiatistically, "recovery."


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