Projections of First Quarter GDP growth revised downward; construction spending is down

At Calculated Risk, Bill McBride notes that analysts are lowering their projections for Q1 GDP growth. It’s a short post, so we’ll just cite a few numbers and encourage you to click through. Merrill Lynch has revised its growth projection to 1.0% from 1.5%.  He also links through to the NY Fed Nowcasting report and the Atlanta Fed GDP Now. His take:

These very early estimates suggest GDP around 1% in Q1.

Adding to concerns, the Associated Press reports on a drop in construction spending in the last month of an otherwise pretty good year.

U.S. construction spending edged down 0.6 percent in December with declines in residential construction and government projects…For the year, construction spending rose 4.1 percent to $1.3 trillion. It was an all-time high, but the 4.1 percent gain was the weakest performance since spending fell 2.6 percent in 2011.

As we’ve written, economists and business analysts are projecting slower growth in the coming months, with nearly half of business economists projecting a recession next year.