U.S. Outlook: No sign of an April bounce so far

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

We are just starting to get some U.S. economic indicators for April, but the preliminary signs are that weaker-than-expected data visible in March may be carrying over.

Graph showing recent drop in Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey.So far the Empire Manufacturing Index, NAHB Housing Market Index, and Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook index all came in weaker than consensus forecasts.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 21.

Key observations:
  • While industrial production growth in March exceeded economists’ estimates on gains in utilities production, the manufacturing production measure unexpectedly declined 0.4% last month.
  • Mortgage lending trends have also been less than stellar in April.
  • While the soft patch in economic activity appears to be lingering into April, there is no need to abandon expectations for somewhat stronger economic activity in the second half of the year.
  • There is little reason to expect significant change in the Fed’s roadmap for additional fed funds rate hikes this year and next.

Click here to read my full report.

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