The U.S. economy is on track to grow 2.2 percent in the first quarter following government reports on jobs and international trade, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model showed.
That pace is faster than the regional Fed’s prior estimate of 1.9 percent growth on Tuesday, the Atlanta Fed said on its website.
Earlier Friday, the Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls grew by 242,000 jobs last month, more than the 190,000 gain forecast among analysts polled by Reuters. The unemployment rate as expected held at an eight-year low of 4.9 percent.
The latest jobs report boosted the model’s estimates on real consumer spending growth in the first quarter to 3.3 percent from an earlier 3.1 percent, and its projection on real gross private domestic investment growth to a 0.8 percent increase from a 0.4 percent fall.
These estimated increases were mitigated by an expected steeper drop in net exports at 0.35 percentage point compared with an earlier 0.26 point fall.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit increased 2.2 percent to $45.7 billion with exports dropping to a more than 5-1/2 year low. December’s trade deficit was revised up to $44.7 billion from the previously reported $43.4 billion.