The Nowcast for U.S. Real GDP Growth in the First Half of 2014 Is Now 1.2%/Year…

That is all…

On second thought: no, that is not all.

Last February 11, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser said:

Charles Plosser: The economy is on firmer footing than it has been for the past several years. So let’s look at some of the details of how last year ended and the implications for the coming year. Real output grew at a 3.2 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter of last year, following a 4.1 percent growth rate in the third quarter. That means economic growth doubled in the second half of 2013 compared with the first half…

Even back then it was clear that the initial fourth-quarter 3.2%/year rate estimate was an overestimate, and that the first quarter was going to be disappointing. The nowcast pace of U.S. growth back then was not 3.6%/year, but rather somewhere between 2.0%/year and 2.5%/year: an average of 2.0%/year averaging the then-current and then-just-past quarter, 2.7%/year averaging three quarters, 2.6%/year averaging four, 2.4%/year averaging five, and 2.1%/year averaging six quarters–more than a full percentage point per year below what Plosser was then claiming.

Graph Real Gross Domestic Product FRED St Louis Fed

The two-quarter nowcast of the real GDP growth rate is now 1.2%/year, the four-quarter is 2.3%/year, the six-quarter is 2.1%, and the eight-quarter is 2.0%.

Shouldn’t the fact that U.S. growth has greatly underperformed what the interest-rate hawks on the FOMC were confidently expecting last winter have led them to rethink their views, and moved their recommended policies much closer to those that were then being recommended by the unemployment hawks?