GDP forecasts cut after housing data (by Steve Goldstein)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- First-quarter growth estimates were cut after data released earlier Wednesday showing a 22.5% slump in housing starts during February. Analysts at RBS cut their GDP view to 2.6% from 2.8%. "Admittedly, residential investment is now such a small share of GDP (just 2.5%) that even big changes in assumed growth rates for that sector don't have a large an impact on the headline growth rate. In any case, coming into today we were looking for residential investment to be up modestly in Q1, but now expect it to be closer to flat," they said. Also, Macroeconomic Advisers cut its Q1 GDP view by 0.1 point to 2.6%.