First quarter GDP will offer clues to where economy is headed under Trump
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The GDP first estimate for the first quarter is out Friday. President Trump has promised growth of 4 or even 5 percent; his treasury secretary just promised major economic growth in defense of the president’s supply-side tax proposal. But what, realistically, is the first quarter GDP likely to show? Economists are puzzling over a contradiction between what they call “hard” and “soft” data. Reports on consumer and business spending, industrial output — the “hard data — have been pretty mediocre so far this year. But surveys of consumer and business confidence — “soft” data — have been really upbeat.
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