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Investing Specialists

First-Quarter GDP Curse Continues

Economic growth fell short, but it could have been worse.

This week's report will focus on the details of the first-quarter GDP report of just 0.7% growth. It wasn't as bad as some headlines suggested or easily brushed off as a statistical anomaly, as some economists have proposed. What we see is more sluggish but not disastrous growth rates in the quarters ahead, with full-year 2017 GDP growth likely to fall in the 1.75%-2.0% range.

In other reports, new home sales set a new recovery high, although some of that increased interest is coming at the low end of the market. In other housing news, home price data released this week by the FHFA showed steady appreciation at a 6.2% year-over-year growth rate. That rate has failed to drop the way most pundits had predicted. The most notable part of the report was that home price appreciation is now accelerating in many parts of the country that were previously left out of the housing rebound, including those of us living here in Chicago.