Two-thirds of the way through Q3.

Figure 1: Reported GDP (black), Atlanta Fed GDPNow (green), IHS Markit (green), NY Fed nowcast (red), CBO August projection (blue). Source: BEA 2020Q2 2nd release, GDPNow, IHS Markit, NY Fed, and author’s calculations.

11 thoughts on “Nowcasts

  1. Moses Herzog

    So IHS and Atlanta Fed are so close they’re basically overlaid on top of each other on the graph. Never would have guessed that one. My mind works differently (I didn’t say better, I said differently) than most people’s. That to me is the most shocking info of the graph. I’ll be honest, I thought this would most apt to be a reverse radical type recovery. I guess if “the American people” want more excess deaths in exchange for a quicker recovery, then “the American people” will get what they ask for. What really more is to be said about it??

    1. Bruce Hall

      Moses, I seldom respond to your posts which, for the most part are witty, amusing, and sometime even insightful. But I think the choice you propose may not be the perception of most Americans right now: I guess if “the American people” want more excess deaths in exchange for a quicker recovery, then “the American people” will get what they ask for.

      Here in Michigan, we’ve had one of the higher infection and death counts in the U.S., yet the perception of most is one of “what epidemic”? I’m not trying to be flippant here. Michigan has a population of 10 million and has had about 100,000 infections, so that leaves 99% not being infected, far less than what would be experienced during a typical flu season. Most try to go about their daily lives and jobs as best they can with the restrictions that Gov. Whitmer has placed on activities and businesses ( The perception is that, “yes, COVID-19 is a bad disease, but I’ve only heard of a few people who actually got the disease and I don’t know anyone who died from it” (6,400 out of 10 million).

      Now this can be argued that without Gov. Whitmer’s policy of cramming the infected elderly into nursing homes with the most vulnerable of the population, we would all be infected by now. However, with 1/3 of the deaths from COVID-19 occurring in Michigan nursing homes ( that horse left the barn a long time ago.

      So, I don’t believe your framing the attitude “wanting more excess deaths” is quite accurate, but rather “wanting to get back to normal” and understanding that there are risks like COVID-19, and pneumonia, and influenza, and bad diets leading to heart disease and diabetes, and driving to work, and cheating on your spouse, and going near a “mostly peaceful” protest (

      1. pgl

        Let’s summarize the facts in your latest back and forth gibberish. The facts are clearly that Michigan got hit hard and the governor took appropriate actions. But you claim that a lot of people in your state do not perceive it to be this way. Well – that is because people like Trump and his sycophants which clearly include you lie about the reality. Now you use a lot of words to confuse and spin but you still are spreading disinformation. So take a bow Brucie boy – you are making the situation in your state worse not better. But hey – MAGA!

      2. baffling

        bruce hall, you reduce deaths by slowing down the economy and socially distancing people until a therapeutic or vaccine is developed. or you choose not to do so, and you increase the deaths. those really are your choices. just like moses said. ultimately it has nothing to do with a government mandate, but peoples actions. you have been mandated to do things, but you have chosen to ignore them. if many people behave like you, then they have chosen more deaths. but you are going to have to explain your attitude towards fellow humans come judgement day, unless you don’t believe in a judgement day.

      3. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall but rather “wanting to get back to normal”

        I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t like to “get back to normal.” The problem is that you can’t just will the pandemic away. It’s a reality. Some people are good at delayed gratification and others are not. Too many MAGA hatters are in the latter camp. One of my nieces is married to a county sheriff’s deputy in rural Missouri. The department has strict protocols that are supposed to be followed at all times. One of the deputies is a big Trumper and thought it was all a “Democrat hoax” so he went out to bars without a mask and cut holes in the N95 masks they were required to wear while in contact with people. He
        thought it was hilarious. Guess what? He got sick and infected the entire sheriff’s office. Not a single deputy is currently available in that county. An elderly judge came in contact with the deputy and is in critical condition the last I heard. My niece’s husband is quarantined and had a fever that never got below 101 for five days. And he’s a very fit guy who lives in the gym. Folks like that “Trumper” deputy lack self-control, as does Trump himself.

        As to nursing homes, you might want to look at what happened to nursing homes in Texas. Disaster. If a state has a strict testing regimen and tight controls over who enters nursing homes, then they are probably the safest place for the elderly. And the elderly don’t go to nursing homes for no good reason. They go there because they are unable to care for themselves. If you’re worried about the elderly, then you should worry about some of those gated retirement communities in Florida where idiots ignore the risks.

        And the fact that you don’t know anyone who has died from it tells us more about you than it does the disease itself. You live a pretty insulated life.

      4. Moses Herzog

        The data in this article are dated a little old. But it’s still something Bruce Hall might want to read for his own edification. It is also interesting to note, Michigan is still in the red zone on its “Rt” number. To specify, the “Rt” number is higher than 1.00. If Michigan people in general—college students, those using sweaty gym equipment, “Karens” headed to the supermarket, frat snobs going to drinking parties off campus, etc. do not wear a quality mask properly (over their nose with a tight seal), this state is probably going to be in for some more “fun” in the next few weeks.

    2. pgl

      Bruce Hall does not reply to your posts a lot? You are lucky. Take for example his feeble attempt to counter what you rightfully said in your latest. Some have suggested Brucie gets banned from this place. I disagree as his continuing intellectual garbage is actually pretty funny in its sheer stupidity!

  2. spencer

    The old foretasting rule of thumb is that the length of time
    it takes to go from peak to bottom is equal to the time it
    takes to go from the bottom back to the previous peak.

    Of course because the denominator is smaller in the recovery
    phase the growth rate in the rebound to the previous peak is
    greater than during the downturn. The fall from 100 to 75
    is a 25% drop. But the rebound from 75 to 100 is a 33%

    1. Barkley Rosser


      I do not know where you got this “old rule of thumb from. There is a lot of evidence that many, possibly most, recessions have followed an asymmetric pattern where the decline has been sharper than the rebound, in short, not a “V,” and many of use were previously forecasting that for this time. As it is it probably will end up taking longer to get back to the previous peak than it took to reach the bottom, given that what started out looking lie a V, what one gets with a symmetric pattern that goes up as fast as it went down. But as is being noticed, it looks that the initial V has indeed flattened, slowed down, as I foreeast back in June.

      So, while it looked for awhile like your “rule of thumb” would hold, and some Trumpers are still touting aV all the way to November, it looks increaingly like the more common asymmetric pattern of an ultimately slower rebound is what we shall get in the end.

      1. spencer

        Note, I am not talking about the entire expansion.
        I am only talking about the rebound from the bottom back to the prior peak.

        If you use the old Business Conditions Digest methodology of comparing different recession
        to each other this pattern stands out like a sore thumb.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Well, Spencer, we have not yet gotten back to the previous peak on this one, so we do not yet know what the shape will ultimately look like, although now it looks like a V that is flattening. If this continues it will take longer to get back to the previous peak than it took to go from the previous top to the bottom. As I noted that is actually the most common pattern, not the V implied in your statement that the time from top to bottom “is equal” to the time it takes to go from bottom back to top.

          What about this particular event makes it “stick out like a sore thumb” is how far it went down, far deeper and faster down than any recession or depression we have ever seen, since the Great Depression. It has been faster than the decline in that event, but not down quite as deep.

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