GDP Revised to 5.6%; March's Consumer Sentiment Remains Unchanged
March 26, 2010 - For the final quarter of 2009, the gross domestic product index surprised economists by rising at a 5.6% annual rate. For the months of October through December, the GDP was revised down from 5.9%; the Commerce Department's recent release will likely push interest rates downward.
The GDP is a good indicator of overall economic activity. Not only does it measure the output of goods and services, but it's the Commerce Department's gauge to consumer and business spending. The recent data reflects the Federal Reserve's desire to keep the economic recovery at a moderate pace.
Similar to the GDP, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report surveys personal consumer confidence in economic activity. For March, consumer sentiment remained unchanged from February's numbers. Holding at 73.6, this month's data is a likely indicator that the labor market is beginning to stagnate.