We’ve finally closed the book on what was one of the most perplexing quarters of this expansion. In January and February 2019, economic data took an unexpected turn as trade and political headwinds weighed on global demand. Tensions then subsided in March, and signs of a rebound started to appear.
These past few months have been full of surprises, so it was only fitting that this chapter ended with a blowout gross domestic product (GDP) report. The April 26 report showed first quarter GDP increased 3.2%, the best first quarter gain since 2015 and above all Bloomberg forecasts for growth [Figure 1].