In another sign of a tepid economy, the third and final revision of Q1 GDP was released today, showing the economy shrank from January through March by -0.2%, slightly better than the second revision of -0.7% but shrinking nonetheless. It’s getting increasingly difficult to gauge how our economy isPurchasing Manager's Index lowest in two years performing as there are so many moving parts but what we can look at is how existing data compares to the same indices in the past.

Just today for example, financial data firm Markit* reported the Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index fell to 53.4, the lowest mark in nearly two years. Anything above 50 shows expansion but still the growth is nothing to get excited about.

That keeps equity investors from making any real headway on Wall Street. The Dow still has a problem with the 18000 mark and investors have too much conflicting information to parse. Q1 GDP fell but consumer spending was up as well as personal savings. With a Purchasing Manager’s Index at 53.4 and a slower than expected second quarter, it’s possible we’ll see a weaker Q2 GDP. Recall the Q2 GDP for 2014 was a rather robust 4.6% followed by a 5.0% jump for the third quarter of last year. Some are saying it was the harsh winter but snow can only account for so much.

Interest rates seem to be in a holding pattern as there appears to be no real breakout in stocks. It appears markets have already priced a Fed bump by nearly 50 basis points and if the economy is still throwing conflicting data at investors we might see interest rates for real estate investors and first time home buyers take a breather. We’ll see tomorrow when Freddie Mac releases the results of its weekly mortgage rate survey.

*Reuters, June 23, 2015