Experts’ Optimism About U.S. Economy Grows

April 3, 2018
NABE panel foresees pick-up in economic growth through 2018.

The March 2018 NABE (National Association for Business Economics) Outlook foresees pick-up in economic growth through 2018 with a boost from fiscal policy; while inflation is expected to remain mild. The NABE Outlook presents the consensus macroeconomic forecast of a panel of professional forecasters.

“NABE Outlook panelists are more optimistic about the U.S. economy in 2018 than they were three months ago, especially regarding prospects for the industrial sector of the economy,” says NABE vice president Kevin Swift, CBE, chief economist, American Chemistry Council. “The panel’s median forecast for average annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 is 2.9%, up from 2.5% in the December survey. In addition, 76% of panelists believe that risks are weighted to the upside.”

Survey chair David Altig, executive vice president and director of research, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, adds, “In large part, the increase in growth prospects appears related to federal fiscal policies. The median estimate of the impact on real GDP growth resulting from fiscal policy changes is an increase of 0.45 percentage points in 2018, and 0.3 percentage points in 2019. The outlook for inflation remains modest.” 

Panelists have also downgraded the probability of a recession occurring by the end of 2018, according to Altig. “Slightly less than 7% of respondents put the probability of a recession this year at greater than 25%, compared to the 12% who held this view in December. The top three downside risks cited by panelists are a stronger dollar, weak wage growth, and inflation," Altig says.

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