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News & Commentary Weekly Highlights:


Top Economic Indicator Highlights:

Gross Domestic Product (final estimate, Q4-2015)

  • Real GDP Quarterly Change (annual rate): 1.4%, Previous quarter: 2.0%, Recovery avg.: 2.2%
  • Average of GDP and GDI (Gross Domestic Income): 1.1%, Real GDI grew 0.9%
  • Noteworthy: While the final estimate remained largely the same compared to last month’s second estimate of fourth quarter GDP, personal consumption expenditures rose more than previously expected. The first estimate of GDP for the first quarter of 2016 will be released on April 28th.
  • Current Forecasts for Q1-2016: Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow forecasts 1st quarter real GDP growth at 1.4%. Wells Fargo’s current first quarter 2016 forecast for annualized real GDP growth is 1.4%.


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Chart of the Week:


The chart above shows the number of states that had increased, decreased, or unchanged labor force participation rates by month over the past year. It demonstrates how broad or narrow monthly increases or decreases in labor force participation rates by state are in any given month. Notably, the first two months of 2016 have shown broader increases in labor force participation rates across states compared to 2015. Nationally, labor force participation is still 2.8 percentage points below the level at the start of the recovery.