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US Monthly GDP Index for March 2020

Monthly GDP fell 5.1% in March. The February reading was unrevised. The weakness in March was mainly in personal consumption expenditures and was reinforced by much smaller declines in nonresidential fixed investment, net exports, and residential investment. This month's reading on monthly GDP for March is subject to more than the usual amount of (potential) revision, as the March decline is largely predicated on assumptions about spending on consumer services for which limited source data are currently available. Implicit in our forecast of a 37.0% annualized decline in GDP in the second quarter is a 7.4% (not annualized) decline in monthly GDP in April.

Our index of Monthly GDP (MGDP) is a monthly indicator of real aggregate output that is conceptually consistent with real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the National Income and Product Accounts. The Monthly GDP Index is consistent with the NIPAs for two reasons: first, MGDP is calculated using much of the same underlying monthly source data that is used in the calculation of GDP. Second, the method of aggregation to arrive at MGDP is similar to that for official GDP. Growth of MGDP at the monthly frequency is determined primarily by movements in the underlying monthly source data, and growth of MGDP at the quarterly frequency is nearly identical to growth of real GDP.

Posted 28 April 2020 by Ben Herzon, Ph.D., Executive Director, IHS Markit and

Kathleen Navin, CBE, Director, IHS Markit

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