Economists Expected Q1 U.S. Growth Of 1.6%; It's 2.6%! 

Published Friday, February 20, 2020,  7:30 p.m. ET

(Friday, February 20, 2020,  7:30 p.m. ET) - U.S. economic growth is beating expectations by 62%!

The Wall Street Journal polls 60 economists during the first week of every month, and the early- February consensus forecast was for a 1.6% growth rate for the first quarter that will end March 31, 2020. That's much lower than the 2.1% growth in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Instead of declining sharply from the fourth quarter of 2019 of 2.1%, the Atlanta Fed's real-time model of current economic conditions is indicating nearly a 25% surge in growth over the last quarter.

Housing starts have surged in the last 24 months. It was bound to happen.

Housing starts were stalled from 2013 to 2018. Fewer units were built than the 1.7 million annually required to replace current housing stock and meet population growth estimates from the US Census Bureau.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Supply Management's forward-looking indicators are similarly indicating faster growth than consensus expectations.

The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed Friday about 1% off its Valentine's Day all-time high, ending the week on Friday at 3,337.75.

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