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Negative GDP Growth Is Delayed Again

In the Survey of Professional Forecasters median, but some still see it as likely). Here’s an interesting picture from the latest Survey of Professional Forecasters and GDPNow.

Figure 1: GDP (bold black), May Survey of Professional Forecasters median (blue), February SPF median (tan), May 17 GDPNow (sky blue), and potential GDP (gray). Source: BEA 2023Q1 advance, CBO (February 2023), Philadelphia Fed, Atlanta Fed, and author’s calculations.

The median response indicates no decline in growth until 2023Q4. On the other hand, growth is meager — less than 1% in Q2 (q/q SAAR), about half a ppt in Q3, and essentially no growth in Q4. The decline is thus moved from Q3 to Q4. (If you look at the November survey, median growth was essentially zero in Q1.)

This latest outlook contrasts with Torsten Slok’s recounting of consensus, which he describes as a “hard landing”.

Source: T. Slok, May 16, 2023. (not online).

This suggests to me that different groups of economists are conveying different views of the outlook (the timing might matter too — probably a couple of weeks difference here).

By the way, I’ve stayed away from the term “recession” because negative GDP growth is not necessarily equivalent to a recession.




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