This morning’s Bureau of Economic Analysis report on GDP showed that US economic growth was still sluggish but better than expected. After Jan/Feb data showed that the US economy was not taking much notice to the sequestration cuts, economists had upgraded their expectations for the first quarter GDP. The BEA estimated the quarter at 2.5% GDP growth and revised the 4th quarter GDP from negative to 0.4% growth. Most economists were expecting growth on that order (some even as high as 3%) but most of those same economists predicted sub-2% growth just 2 months ago.
The other release this AM was the consumer sentiment index, which fell to 76.4. That’s down from March but not as far down as economists expected (are you sensing a theme here). The takeaway from the report was that consumers were now starting to feel the effect of that Social Security withholding increase and were feeling less spunky. If that is a correct assessment then it’s not good for the economy, since consumer spending in the 1st quarter was 3.2% higher than the previous quarter. On the other hand, using an index of emotions that looks backward to predict the future is not a precise method either.
On the local front, PJ Dick was selected to be the CM on the $30 million Embassy Suites being built out within the Henry W. Oliver Building downtown. CMU selected Mosites Construction as CM on their University Center project, which won’t get underway until early 2014. Repal Construction is the low bidder on the Paramount Exchange Building renovation in the Lower Hill. Dynamic Building Co. & TBI Construction are negotiating the contract for the 35,000 sq. ft. new building in Alta Vista Business Park for Scientific Drilling.