After a very slow week of economic news last week, there is an enormous amount of data due out this week, which will help to firm up forecasters’ estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Q2 2009 and over the second half of 2009. The Q2 GDP report is out at the end of July.

Last week’s key economic data – jobless claims, May merchandise trade, May wholesale inventories and June service sector sentiment – suggested that real GDP in Q2 2009 was on pace to contract at about a 1.0% annualized clip in Q2, after dropping by 5.5% in Q1 2009 versus Q4 2008. Our published forecast is for real GDP to decline between 2.0 and 3.0% in Q2 2009, with real GDP growth turning positive in Q3 and Q4 2009, and we will stick by that forecast now. The consensus is looking for a 1.8% drop in real GDP in Q2, a 1.0% gain in Q3 and a 1.9% gain in Q4.

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