Economic Forecasts

  Surv. of Prof Forecasters (Feb) Wells Fargo (Mar) WSJ (Mar) Fed (Mar)

economic growth, 2015

3.2% 2.7% 2.9% 2.3-2.7%

economic growth, 2016

2.9% 3% 2.8% 2.3-2.7%

unemployment (end of 2015)

5.2% 5.2% 5.1% 5-5.2%

unemployment (end of 2016)

5.1% (avg for year) 4.8% 4.8% 4.9-5.1%

inflation, 2015

1.8% 0.4% 1.3% 0.6-0.8%

inflation, 2016

1.9% 2% 2.2% 1.5-1.9%

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Recent Forecasts

Fed Forecast as of Mar 2015: economic growth = 2.3-2.7% in 2015, 2.3-2.7% in 2016 and 2-2.4% in 2017; long-run economic growth = 2-2.3% (note: these are from 4th quarter to 4th quarter); unemployment rate = 5-5.2% in 2015, 4.9-5.1% in 2016, 4.8-5.1% in 2017 (estimates are for 4th quarter of the respective year); natural rate of unemployment = 5 to 5.2%; inflation as measured by PCE index of 0.6-0.8% (core = 1.3-1.4%) in 2015, 1.5-1.9% in 2016 (core = 1.7-2%) and 1.8-2% in 2017 (core = 1.8-2%); median forecast for federal funds rate at end of 2015 = 0.5-0.75% (first rate increase in 2015); median forecast for end of 2016 = 1.75-2%; median rate in long run = 3.75%
Economic forecasting survey, Mar 2015 (WSJ): economic growth = 2.3% in 2015Q1, 3% in 2015Q2 & 2015Q3; 2.9% in 2015, 2.8% in 2016 & 2.6% in 2017; unemployment = 5.1% at end of 2015, 4.8% at end of 2016; inflation = 1.3% in 2015 and 2.2% in 2016; expect hike in federal funds rate in Spring 2015 (47.5%) or Summer 2015 (46%); 66% concerned that Fed will wait too long to raise rates
Wells Fargo Securities Economic Forecast (latest monthly forecast, Mar 2015; Mar 6-latest weekly analysis): economic growth = 1.1% in 2015Q1 and 3% in 2015Q2; 2.7% in 2015, 3% in 2016; PCE inflation = 0.4% in 2015, 2% in 2016; core CPI inflation = 1.6% in 2015, 1.8% in 2016; unemployment rate = 5.2% at end of 2015, 4.8% at end of 2016; Fed starts to raise the federal funds rate in 2Q of 2015
Survey of Professional Forecasters (latest survey Feb 2015): economic growth = 2.7% in 2015Q1, 3% in 2015Q2; 3.2% in 2015, 2.9% in 2016, 2.7% in 2017; inflation (PCE)=1.5% in 2014, 1.8% in 2015 and 1.9% in 2016 (core PCE inflation = 1.5% in 2014, 1.8% in 2015 and 2016); unemployment rate = 5.2% in 2015Q4
CBO (Jan 2015) - econonomic growth = 2.9% in 2015 and 2016, 2.5% in 2016; output gap was -4% at the end of 2013; PCE inflation = 1.4% in 2015, 1.9% in 2016, 2% in 2017; core PCE inflation = 1.8% in 2015, 1.9% in 2016 and 2017; unemployment rate = 5.4% at end of 2015, 5.3% at end of 2016 and 2017; NAIRU = 5.3%, growth in potential GDP = 2.1%
GDPNow: economic growth = 1.7% in 2015Q1 (Feb 27); this is a forecast based on a model developed by the Atlanta Fed (though they are quick to note that it isn't the official forecast of the Atlanta Fed); it seeks to frequently revised estimates of quarterly GDP as new data becomes available
Livingston Survey (latest survey - Dec 12, 2014): economic growth = 2.9% in first half of 2015, 2.7% in second half of 2015; unemployment rate = 5.6% in June 2015, 5.4% in Dec 2015; inflation (CPI) = 1.4% for 2015 and 2.1% in 2016; long-term economic growth = 2.5%, inflation averages 2.25% over the next decade
Univ. of Michigan Economic Forecast (executive summary - Nov 20, 2014): economic growth = 2.2% in 2014, 3.1% in 2015, 3.3% in 2016; inflation (CPI) = 1.7% in 2014, 1.3% in 2015, 1.7% in 2016 (core inflation = 1.8% in 2014, 1.8% in 2015 and 1.9% in 2016); unemployment rate falls to 5.4% by the end of 2015 and 5% by the end of 2016
Economic Report of the President: Midyear Update (see p7): economic growth = 2.6% in 2014, 3.4% in 2015, 3.2% in 2016; inflation = 1.8% in 2014, 2% in 2015, 2.1% in 2016; unemployment rate ends 2014 ar 6%, 5.6% in 2015, 5.4% in 2016; growth in potential GDP = 2.3%; NAIRU = 5.4%

last updated: 03/18/2015