July 14, 2024

Economix: Economists Lower G.D.P. Forecasts for 2nd Quarter

Quarter after quarter and month after month, the United States has been subjected to increasingly disappointing economic numbers. And this quarter is no different.

In light of a streak of bad news — on jobs, auto sales, housing, manufacturing
and retailing – many economists have ratcheted down their estimates for gross domestic product in the second quarter. A small selection:

  • Macroeconomic Advisers is now forecasting 2.6 percent annualized growth, down from its forecast of 3.7 percent about a month earlier.
  • Barclays Capital has lowered its forecast to 2 percent, from 3.5 percent.
  • IHS Global Insight is expecting 2 percent.
  • Joshua Shapiro of MFR is predicting (gulp) 1.5 percent, about half of what he’d previously expected.

You may recall that the same phenomenon occurred last quarter, when, for instance, Macroeconomic Advisers gradually slid its estimate down from 4.1 percent to 1.5 percent. The Commerce Department eventually reported that the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent last quarter. (The government will release its initial estimate for second quarter G.D.P. on July 29.)

Then, as now, economists said not to despair because they expected growth to pick up “next quarter,” since “temporary factors” were responsible for the latest bout of slowness. But then those hopes were scuttled, and pushed off until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Let’s hope the sun comes out sometime soon.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=a30d1682d38379fbb6751efc5c24f08f

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