The Wall Street Journal staffer Josh Mitchell reports that the U.S. economy, which was thought to have ended 2015 solidly, might not have been as sturdy as previously estimated.
Many economists were estimating that the nation’s gross domestic product grew at an annual pace of roughly 2% in October through December, matching the third quarter’s pace. But now, The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said it believes fourth-quarter GDP grew at just 0.7%, down from a prior estimate of 1.3% growth. And it wasn’t the only institution to recalibrate its estimates. J.P. Morgan Chase cut its estimate in half to 1% growth from 2%. Forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers lowered its estimate by three-tenths of a percentage point to 1.1%.
If those estimates pan out, it would mean the economy ended 2015 in roughly the same precarious state in which it began the year. GDP grew 0.6% in the first quarter of 2015 before rebounding in the spring and summer.