Thursday, May 10, 2007

Economists' Growth Forecasts

The Wall Street Journal (hat tip: CR) reports that economists are guessing that the worst is over regarding economic growth in the US this year:
Economy Is Clawing Back, but Not Much

The worst of the economic slowdown has passed, private economists said in the latest forecasting survey. But they don't see any reason to expect a significant acceleration.

By a more than 5-to-1 margin, the economists said they believe the first quarter's 1.3% growth -- the weakest in four years -- marked the low point in the slowdown that gripped the economy much of last year. However, they expect growth to stay below 3% into early 2008, leaving 2007 on track to have the slowest economic growth since 2002.

...On the whole, the 60 economists predict gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, will grow at a 2.2% annual rate this quarter.
As a bit of context, here's what a similar survey of economic forecasts predicted two months ago:
The world's largest economy may expand at a 2.4 percent annual rate this quarter, and accelerate to 3 percent by year's end, according to the median estimate of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News from March 1 to March 7. The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the last three months of 2006.
It's almost not worth mentioning (but I'll do it anyway) that actual GDP growth during the 1st quarter of 2007 was not even close to the prediction of 2.4 percent growth. Let's hope that these economists somehow managed to get closer to the mark this time.

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