Economists Grow More Optimistic About Growth In 2021

March 2, 2021
Despite forecasting economic growth, most NABE panelists do not expect job market recovery until 2023 or later.

Business economists grow more optimistic about growth in 2021, but most don’t expect job market recovery until 2023 or later, according to the latest outlook from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). The NABE Outlook, which surveys a panel of professional forecasters, also indicates that most respondents don’t anticipate a “double dip” recession.

“NABE panelists have grown more optimistic about the prospects for economic growth in 2021,” said NABE President Manuel Balmaseda, CBE, chief economist, CEMEX. “The median forecast calls for a 3.4% annualized growth rate in the first quarter of 2021 for inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, or real GDP. The panel has become more bullish about 2021 as a whole. The median real GDP growth estimate for 2021 is 4.8%, compared to the 3.8% forecasted in the December 2020 survey.”

Survey Chair Holly Wade, executive director, NFIB Research Center, adds, “While NABE panelists have become increasingly optimistic about future GDP growth, their views on the job market are less so. Despite unemployment projected to decrease every quarter through 2022, 59% of panelists do not anticipate a full recovery in the job market to pre-pandemic employment levels until 2023 or later.”

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