Jeff Bater on the day's news:
GDP Revised Down to 2.2% Growth In 4th Quarter on Lower Inventories - WSJ.com: The U.S. economy didn't surge at the end of 2006 as originally thought, according to new government data showing a sharp downward adjustment to fourth-quarter growth partly because of lower business inventory investment.... Gross domestic product increased at a 2.2% annual rate October through December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday in its first revision to GDP growth during the last three months of 2006.... The chain-weighted GDP price index rose 1.7%, above the previously estimated 1.5% rise but below the third quarter's 1.9% climb. The government initially estimated GDP grew by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. The new estimate of a 2.2% seasonally adjusted gain meant the economy was just a little stronger than in the third quarter, when GDP rose 2.0%.
New-home sales plunged in January, falling to the lowest level in nearly four years after back-to-back increases.... Sales of single-family homes decreased 17% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 937,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the weakest sales rate since 936,000 in February 2003.... The median estimate of 21 economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC was for sales to fall by 3.6% to a 1.080 million annual rate in January. Commerce's report Wednesday showed new-home sales fell 19% in the Northeast, 8.1% in the Midwest, 9.7% in the South and 37.4% in the West.... The median price was $239,800, higher than the $239,400 in December. There were an estimated 536,000 homes for sale at the end of January, representing a 6.8 months' supply at the current sales rate...
We're now two quarters into a growth recession, and an investment recession, and an industrial recession. But I don't think we're in a real recession yet--still lots of demand for the service sectors.