GDPNow Forecast

I continue to be fascinated with forecasting that errs in only one direction. A couple of days ago I made fun of GDP forecasting in the post, Who Is The Better Forecaster, The Economist Or The Climate Scientist? The good news is that these “scientists” are not building stuff that could hurt us like cars or airplanes. For the last couple of years the initial GDP estimates are consistently too optimistic and the chart below continues that trend. Today I found out that the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast is expecting 2.6% GDP growth for the second quarter of 2014. It should not be a surprise to anyone that this estimate is at the bottom of the range for GDP forecasts and will leave us at a negative growth rate for the first six months of the year. For those of you who like to look at the details the Atlanta Federal Reserve has graciously provided the spreadsheet they use to make the GDPNow forecast. Here is the latest forecast from their site.

Latest forecast
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (SAAR) in 2014: Q2 was 2.6 percent on July 10, unchanged from its July 3 value. This morning’s wholesale trade release from the U.S. Census Bureau had no effect on the GDP nowcast after rounding.

Evolution of Atlanta Fed GDPNow Real GDP Forecast