Some economists now see first-quarter growth as negligible, and it could easily turn out to be negative.

Economists shaved already weak growth forecasts by a few more tenths Friday, after wholesale inventories fell 0.5 percent month over month in February, much more than the anticipated 0.1 percent decline. January was also revised down by 0.4 percent.

The closely watched Atlanta Fed GDPNow model now shows first-quarter growth tracking at 0.1 percent, compared to a 0.4 percent estimate earlier in the week. JPMorgan economists now forecast the economy only expanded by 0.2 percent in the first quarter, from 0.7 percent.