In the wake of huge plunge in wholesale inventories that still left the inventory-to-sales ratio in the stratosphere, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow Model plunged to +0.1%
Latest forecast: 0.1 percent -- April 8, 2016
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2016 is 0.1 percent on April 8, down from 0.4 percent on April 5. After this morning's wholesale trade report from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the forecast for the contribution of inventory investment to first-quarter real GDP growth fell from -0.4 percentage points to -0.7 percentage points.
There's momentum all right. And it's hugely negative.
Today's wholesale sales report added to the string of very poor economic reports. For my take, please see Wholesale Inventories Crash, Led by Autos.
Next week, retail sales and industrial production reports come out. If those reports are bad, GDP will head negative. At this point, even minor backward revisions can tip things negative.
If auto sales decline significantly or housing heads for the worse (both likely), recession it is, probably backdated to December 2015 or January 2016.