Santelli on First Quarter GDP: ‘Holy Cow! Better Than Expected’

April 27th, 2018 11:39 AM

On-air editor Rick Santelli announced the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) estimate for CNBC’s Squawk Box on April 27.

“Holy cow! Better than expected up 2.3 percent. You know many were thinking, and there’s a lot of reasons to believe so, that it would be a bit under the 2 percent. So 2.3 of course, as follows 2.9 last quarter,” Santelli said.

Estimates were that GDP would come in around 1.8 percent or 2 percent. First quarters have been the weakest GDP readings for several years running.

Senior economics reporter Steve Liesman followed up Santelli’s announcement and declared the growth estimate a “win, in a lot of respects.” [WATCH VIDEO HERE]

“Not only was it better than estimate, but we’ve had that weak Q1 effect,” Liesman said. “This is a decline from the fourth quarter, but the key is that it’s still right around trend. Uh, and there’s an expectation, I don’t know if that expectation is gonna change, of a pretty strong rebound in the second quarter.”

He said he thinks this also “keeps us on track for another 3, that’s important out there. Which is 3 percent GDP.” Liesman also showed charts of quarter by quarter average growth rates from 2009-2017 showing the first quarters had been consistently lower (and below trend).