Wall Street firms trim U.S. growth forecasts
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - A handful of Wall Street firms cut their estimates for second-quarter U.S. growth after a weak retail sales report and other economic data that suggests the economy has slowed. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch chopped its target to 1.9% from 2.4%; RDQ Economics slashed its forecast to 2.25% from 2.75%; CIBC World Markets cut its estimate to 2.0% from 2.3%; and Macroeconomic Advisers trimmed its target to 1.8% from 2.0%. The firms cited weaker retail sales in May and April, a bigger trade deficit and slower growth in business inventories as factors that have contributed to lower gross domestic product. The U.S. grew at a 1.9% rate in the first quarter, but second-quarter GDP is likely to fall short of that number based on the latest forecasts.