Market Insider

GDP: This time, a revision worth examining

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Rapid update: Modest economic rebound

GDP revisions are oft times shrugged off as a look through the rearview mirror, but this time the look back is worthwhile since it's bound to be brighter than the earlier view.

First-quarter GDP, reported at 8:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, is expectded to have contracted by 0.2 percent, but that's an improvement over the previous revision's contraction of 0.7 percent. There had been concerns a tough winter could have made it even worse, with a decline of 1 percent or greater.

"It simply means the beginning of the year wasn't as bad as we thought," said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies. "We probably don't have to worry quite as much about the rest of the year." So far, second-quarter GDP is tracking at about 3 percent, about a point better than earlier in the quarter when some of the data was affected by weather.