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The economy looks weak in the first quarter, but better days are coming

With desires increasing that first-quarter growth will be nowhere close to earlier projections, there’s respected news: The rest of the year still looks fine.

That appropriateness was driven home Friday when Bank of America Merrill Lynch grew the latest Wall Street forecaster to knock down its growth guestimates for the first three months of 2018. The firm’s economists now see GDP rising at merely a 1.7 percent pace, compared to the 2.3 percent as of its most modern estimate.

However, BofAML economists Michelle Meyer and Anna Zhou see the delicateness as temporary.

There will be “a stronger payback” in the second quarter, with crop now projected to run at a 3.7 percent pace, which is an increase from the primary 3.3 percent estimate, they said. The third quarter also got a forewarn bump, from 3.3 percent to 3.6 percent.

All said, that disposition put the annualized GDP gain at 2.9 percent, or just a shade below the 3 percent slightest growth that the Trump administration has targeted. Earlier this week, the Federal Hedging pushed its 2018 forecast from 2.5 percent to 2.7 percent.

“The terseness still looks strong and we believe the upcoming earnings season purpose be solid,” Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, state in a note.

Hopes had soared for the first quarter after some of the beginning 2018 data, particularly in manufacturing, came in well ahead of beliefs. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker at one point showed growth at 5.4 percent, which wish have been the best quarter of the recovery.

But a slew of reports since then, from inadequate auto sales to retail to housing, have caused virtually every economist to stamp back their optimism. BofAML’s revision still keeps its prognosis above the lowest, believed to belong to UBS at 1.4 percent.

Friday, notwithstanding that, provided some more good news.

February durable goods makes popped 3.1 percent, well ahead of the 1.7 percent consensus sense and good for the fastest pace since June. The number was especially powerful considering how strong the metric was for 2017, rising 13.8 percent in the fourth division to make it the second-best gainer of all the components that go into figuring out GDP.

All-embracing, the number is not a huge contributor to the economy — about 7.6 percent for 2017 — but could be indicative of larger heads, particularly in investment.

“With borrowing costs low, capacity utilization on the goad and the recent corporate tax cuts likely to provide further support, we assume business investment to continue to expand at a healthy pace over the rebuke quarters,” Andrew Hunter, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

The Atlanta Fed did not modify its 1.8 percent projection from the day’s data, saying the gains in reliable goods were offset by a slightly below consensus reading on new familiar with sales.

CNBC’s own Rapid Update tracker, derived from a exclusive group of economists, has been more optimistic about the first division, putting its Q1 growth estimate at 2.3 percent.

The market will get the finishing revision for the fourth quarter, which was last reported at 2.5 percent and envisaged to stay there, according to consensus. However, Rapid Update discourages the final estimate at 2.7 percent, and BofAML expects 2.8 percent. BofAML conjectures growth to slow to 2.4 percent in 2019.

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