SPRING IS ALL about growth. Not, it appears, for American bottom lines. As S&P 500 firms start reporting first-quarter results, FactSet, a data firm, estimates that their total earnings per share fell for the first time since 2016, by 4.2% year on year. Last year profits were fertilised by President Donald Trump’s tax giveaway. Now margins are shrinking and the world economy has slowed. After upward revisions a year ago, profit forecasters have been pruning rosy predictions for 2019 and 2020. Still, they are not expecting a prolonged earnings winter. Corporate America looks ever the hardy perennial.
This post was originally posted at https://www.economist.com/business/2019/04/13/do-spring-profits-foreshadow-an-earnings-winter.