×

Economic model predicts Trump may get that GDP surge he wants this quarter

  • The Atlanta Federal Reserve projects the U.S. economy to have grown 4.3 percent this quarter.
  • But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says it will probably take two years to get to 3 percent growth.
An employee welds pipe at Pioneer Pipe on October 25, 2016 in Marietta, Ohio.
Getty Images

First-quarter economic growth may have been lackluster, but the kind of growth President Donald Trump is looking for could be just around the corner at least according to one economic model.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve projects the U.S. economy to have grown 4.3 percent this quarter, a far-better reading than the 0.7 percent growth in the year's first three months.

The U.S. economy was weighed down to start 2017 by faltering consumer spending that was hindered by a mild winter and higher inflation, among other factors.

That said, The Lindsey Group's Peter Boockvar is still cautious about the second quarter.

"Let's hope," the chief market analyst said.

He pointed out that the Atlanta Fed's initial forecasts have been volatile barometers. For instance, the first-quarter estimate was as high as 3.4 percent at one point. The fourth quarter of 2016 started with a 2.7 percent projection that rose to 2.9 percent, but the final official government revision put growth then at 2.1 percent.

In the third quarter last year, the Atlanta Fed's initial estimate was 3.6 percent then fell to 2.1 percent, though the final official number was 3.5 percent.

"The Atlanta Fed estimate is just one of many but you at least have an idea of where they stand today," Boockvar said.

The Atlanta Fed's projection comes following a statement by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said Monday it will probably take two years to get to 3 percent growth. That estimate, though, was for full-year growth.

"There's really three parts that will drive that. First, is tax reform. This will be the most sweeping tax reform we've ever had. The second part is regulatory relief. We can have sound regulations. Make sure we have proper regulations," Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

"And the third part is fair trade, renegotiating the trade deals. We think those three things together will create sustained economic growth of 3 percent or higher," Mnuchin said.

The last time the U.S. economy grew at a rate of at least 3 percent was in the third quarter of 2016. The U.S. economy has also not produced growth of more than 4 percent for a quarter since the third quarter of 2014, when the economy grew at a rate of 5 percent.

The economy has not achieved growth of more than 3 percent for any year since the last recession ended in mid-2009.

Watch: Q1 GDP up .7 percent