Closely watched Atlanta Fed GDP model now sees growth at just 1.4 percent for fourth quarter

  • The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow forecast for the fourth quarter now fell to 1.4 percent, following December's durable goods report Thursday.
  • Other economists also trimmed their forecast after the report showed a slowing in capital spending.
  • The durable goods report was delayed by the government shutdown, as was December retail sales, issued last week, and together they resulted in a decline of as much as 0.8 percentage points in some GDP forecasts.
A worker pours molten iron into molds to form parts for Caterpillar Inc. and other industrial customers at Kirsh Foundry Inc. in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
Timothy Aeppel | Reuters
A worker pours molten iron into molds to form parts for Caterpillar Inc. and other industrial customers at Kirsh Foundry Inc. in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

The Atlanta Fed's closely watched GDPNow model sees GDP growth for the fourth quarter at 1.4 percent.

The forecast had been 1.5 percent but was ratcheted down after Thursday's December durable goods report showed a decline in capital expenditures. The Atlanta Fed said its nowcast of fourth-quarter real nonresidential equipment investment growth declined to 3.9 percent from 4.5 percent.

Economists surveyed by CNBC/Moody's Analytics Rapid Update earlier Thursday had a mean expectation for fourth quarter growth of 2 percent, following the durable goods report.

Earlier, J.P. Morgan economists reduced tracking growth for the fourth quarter to 1.4 percent from 1.6 percent. Expecting slowness to persist, they trimmed first quarter growth to 1.5 percent from 1.75 percent.

The durable goods report follows last week's late release of December retail sales, which showed a decline of 1.2 percent. Together the durable goods and retail sales reported amounted to as much as an 0.8 percentage point decline in GDP forecasts.