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The Atlanta Federal Reserve is projecting a strong rebound in US economic growth in the second quarter, according to estimates released on Monday.

The GDPNow tracking model forecast real GDP growth of an annualised rate of 4.3 per cent, compared with Wall Street consensus of about 2.7 per cent.

The forecast comes after data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis last week showed that the US economy expanded at its slowest pace in three years in the first three months of the year.

But is the 3.6 percentage point improvement that the Atlanta Fed is modelling in the second quarter, from the first, worth getting excited about? Not necessarily. A look back shows that GDPNow figures are often revised lower.

The model had initially projected growth of 2.3 per cent in the first quarter, with its most bullish estimate of 3.4 per cent coming on February 1 and its final reading had been slashed to 0.2 per cent. By comparison, BEA data showed gross domestic product grew at a 0.7 per cent annual rate in the first three months of 2017.

The next update is due Thursday and the GDPNow forecast is updated about six or seven times a month.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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