All Posts Tagged: inventory

U.S. Outlook: Private inventories — A GDP growth wild card

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Rising business inventory levels have been boosting U.S. GDP growth in recent quarters.Aerial View Of Container port

The average increase in real private inventories doubled from 2017 to 2018, from $22.5 billion per quarter annualized on average to $45.0 billion per quarter annualized in 2018, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Wholesale inventories of computers, machinery, and automotive have climbed 15.6%, 13.7%, and 9.5% respectively from a year ago.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 12.

Key observations:
  • If the first quarter of 2019 is any guide, the pace of business inventory building appears to be on track to double again in 2019.
  • The annualized change in real private inventories in the first quarter is likely to exceed $110 billion.
  • After lackluster private inventory growth in 2016 and 2017, real private inventories jumped by $89.8 billion annualized in Q3 and $96.8 billion annualized in Q4.
  • The swing from the second quarter’s $36.8 billion decline was a whopping $126.6 billion, adding 2.3 percentage points to the third quarter’s GDP growth alone.
  • If this inventory building tails-off quickly in the quarters ahead, U.S. GDP growth could very easily surprise on the downside.

Read my full report.

Chart showing Pace of Inventory Change_41219

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Instant Analysis: Advance GDP estimate for Q4 2015

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Large cargo ship leaving Asian part with city skyline in the distance on a sunny day with fluffy clouds in background.

The composition of U.S. growth in the fourth quarter was as mixed as we thought. 

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U.S. Outlook: Ignore the headline – Q3 GDP report was solid

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing recent patterns in consumer spending (monthly)

Real GDP growth for the third quarter (1.5%) was a big deterioration from the second quarter’s 3.9% growth, but in this instance the headline was deceiving.

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Numbers Count: Some good news on housing inventory

Chad Royle
Posted by Chad Royle
Mortgage Banking
New housing development, with two homes nearly built that still need siding.

Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.

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Numbers Count: Weekly mortgage data highlights

Chad Royle
Posted by Chad Royle
Mortgage Banking
Young African American couple receiving keys to new home from agent.

Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.

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