Why I suspect first quarter GDP will eventually be revised upwards

First, look at non-farm employment and industrial production versus GDP (and GDO):

Figure 1: Annualized quarterly growth in real GDP (black), current forecast GDPNow 7/8 (blue square), real GDO (yellow), non-agricultural employment (green), and industrial production (red), all calculated using log differences. 2022Q2 industrial production for April, May. Peak-to-trough dates as determined by the NBER are shaded in grey. Source: BEA, BLS and Fed via FRED, Fed of Atlanta, NBER and author’s calculations.

Simply put, both employment and industrial production are growing much faster than the reported GDP. If we evaluate the relationship between (first logarithmic difference) GDP, on the one hand, and employment in the non-agricultural sector and industrial production, on the other, (1986-2022Q1, adj.R2 = 0.83), we can find that the projected GDP in the 1st quarter is 1.8 p.p. higher than the actual indicated in the 3rd edition. A similar number applies to GDPNow for Q2 as of 7/8.

Note that the average absolute revision of the SAAR growth rate for the period ending 2018 between the 3rd issue and the final year of issue is 1.23 percentage points. (BEA (2021)).