Economic growth is close to zero for the fourth quarter, according to Fed gauges

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An assembly line worker works on the production line at Midwest Automotive Designs in Bristol, Indiana, April 16, 2019.

Tim Aeppel | Reuters

The U.S. economy will barely grow at all in the fourth quarter, if two Federal Reserve gauges that track gross domestic product are correct.

With some recent data coming in below expectations, both the Atlanta and New York Fed’s trackers have lowered their expectations for the last three months of 2019.

According to the Atlanta Fed’s GDP now, growth is likely to come in at just 0.3%. The New York Fed’s GDP Nowcast is showing a gain of 0.4%.

Both projections have come on the heels of recent news that took down previously meager expectations to just above negative territory. Friday releases indicating lackluster retail sales and production growth took the Atlanta tracker down from 1% a week ago and the New York measure from 0.7% earlier this week and as high as 2% back in September.

Economic data has largely remained a bit better than expectations but has dipped lately compared to Wall Street estimates. The Citi Economic Surprise Index, which compares actual readings to consensus estimates, is still positive but at its lowest level since early September.

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