IMF Cuts U.S. GDP From 2.0% To 1.7% [Dow Jones Industrial Average, SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust]

dataTyler Durden: This is what happens when a priced to perfection global economy (and well beyond perfection based on the S&P 500) runs into the utterly and completely unpredictable and unforeseeable“harsh winter weather.”

First, the IMF just cut (again) its forecast for US GDP, this time from 2.0% to the consensus-estimate 1.7%. The IMF cited the 1Q contraction, which from a +3% original estimate ended up being that, just with a minus sign. It also says second-half growth to accelerate… because it must!

  • Some other brilliant points from the IMF:
  • IMF staff: U.S. to reach full employment “only by end-2017”
  • “The economy is expected to reach full employment only by end-2017 and inflationary pressures are expected to remain muted”
  • “If true, policy rates could afford to stay at zero for longer than the mid-2015 date currently foreseen by markets”
  • Says job market “reasonably healthy,” wages should rise slowly

Or not at all.

And while IMF just slashed its 2014 forecast, it kept its growth forecast steady at 3%. Tomorrow the IMF releases its entire World Economic Outlook quarterly pamphlet which has been the source of so much amusement around these parts. We can’t wait to update it for tomorrow’s latest and greatest growth slashing.

And just so the IMF doesn’t appear alone as the only idiot who, for the 5th year in a row, issued an optimistic forecast about US growth which is crashing before its eyes, here is the National Retail Federation which also just cut its 2014 retail sales growth outlook from 4.1% to 3.6%.

The National Retail Federation today lowered its retail sales forecast for 2014 because of slow growth recorded during the first half of the year, but said sales are expected to grow significantly faster over the next five months. NRF forecasted in January that retail sales would grow 4.1 percent in 2014 over 2013, but today’s revision lowers the forecast to 3.6 percent. 

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