Dispersion in GDP Q3 Tracking [updated]

GDPNow at 5.6% (SAAR), St. Louis Fed “news” nowcast, at -0.25%. Goldman Sachs and BofA at 3.1%…

Figure 1: GDP (bold black), Survey of Professional Forecasters median (tan), GDPNow (red square), Goldman Sachs, BofA (light green square), St. Louis Fed Economic News Index (pink triangle), NY Fed nowcast (light blue triangle), all in billions Ch.2012$ SAAR. Source: BEA 2023Q2 second release, Philadelphia Fed, Atlanta Fed, St. Louis Fed via FRED, NY Fed. [revised 3:17pm Pacific]

[Now includes NY Fed’s reintroduced nowcast, described here; ht Oscar Munoz, Moses Herzog. See Jim Hamilton’s comparative assessment of GDPNow and the original NY Fed nowcast, here].

25 thoughts on “Dispersion in GDP Q3 Tracking [updated]

    1. Moses Herzog

      You’ll have to remember I’m sometimes slow on the uptake. You mean mention the NY Fed Nowcast being resumed?? Yeah kinda cool.

      You have to be careful encouraging me…… because like, I hero worship guys like Menzie (even if I occasionally will disagree with Menzie) and his ilk so much, Alan Blinder, Lester Thurow etc. going back to my early teens watching Louis Rukeyser with my Dad. If Menzie is eating a chocolate cream pie, and a tiny tiny graham cracker crumb from the pie crust falls off the dining room table, I’m like Chester the Terrier in those Spike cartoons “yeah!!! Yeah!!! me!!! me!!!! Over here!!!!”

  1. pgl

    Fact check: Trump falsely claims polls show his Black support has quadrupled or quintupled since his mug shot


    On Wednesday, Trump claimed in a falsehood-filled interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt that “many Democrats” will be voting for him in the 2024 election because they agree with him that the criminal charges against him in four cases are unfair. He then made this assertion: “The Black community is so different for me in the last – since that mug shot was taken, I don’t know if you’ve seen the polls; my polls with the Black community have gone up four and five times.”

    First of all this claim is not true. Secondly Hugh Hewitt is Sean Hannity’s minnie me. Now a real reporter would haveL (a) called out this clearly racist tone (like all black people have mug shots?); and (2) noted the simple arithmetic that 5 times zero = zero.

    1. Macroduck

      So in Trump world, black voters prefer candidates who have the “shared experience” of a mug shot?


      1. Moses Herzog

        Trump’s fraudulent attempt at groundswell support is humorous, in a jaded way. If you put it in a fiction novel it would feel so absurdist no one would believe it. I’d think it was so unrealistic I’d take the book straight back to the library without turning another page,

  2. Moses Herzog

    Heh, no doubt some will view this as overly obsequious, but I can pretty near die happy now.

    And Autumn is around the corner. Good mood today.

  3. pgl

    Renewable energy deployment surge puts global power system on track for the IEA’s ambitious net-zero pathway


    Lots of useful information including this:

    Cost advantage gives boost to green energy
    Exponential rates of deployment are driving down renewable prices at unprecedented pace, rendering higher cost hydrocarbons uncompetitive in most markets.

    RMI forecasts that what is already the cheapest form of electricity in history will roughly halve in price again by 2030, falling as low as $20/MWh for solar from over $40MWh currently.

    The cost of renewable electricity has plummeted over the past 10 years, overcoming a key barrier to widespread deployment. Solar and battery costs have declined 80% between 2012 and 2022, while offshore wind costs are down 73% and onshore wind costs are 57% down, BNEF data shows.

    “Exponential growth of clean energy is an unstoppable force that will put more spending power in the pockets of consumers. The benefit of rapid renewable deployment is greater energy security and independence, plus long-term energy price deflation because this is a manufactured technology – the more you install the cheaper it gets,” said Kingsmill Bond, Senior Principal, RMI.

    1. Ivan

      Thanks for the link. Not a surprise but great news for us all. The positive effect on climate will be very substantial. Hydrocarbon producers will have to cut prices or production – and will make less money either way

      Worth pondering what it will mean for the economy if energy costs are cut in half by 2030 ?

  4. joseph

    You have to give Menzie Chinn credit. He just lays is out in all its glory — GDPNow at 5.6% (SAAR), St. Louis Fed “news” nowcast, at -0.25%. Goldman Sachs and BofA at 3.1%…

    Is there any reason to wonder why the public is confused about the economy? Even the professionals don’t seem to have a clue.

    Of course, that’s just about the future. The public also seems to be confused about the past where we have hard data, which is not in doubt.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      joseph: I don’t think the dispersion is so large in the past. I think GDPNow and St. Louis Fed are outliers – most are huddled in around the GS range. I would say with different indicators going in different directions, one should expect wide dispersion.

      1. pgl

        NYC weather forecasts show more dispersion. But economists forecast only to make the weather man look good.

    2. JohnH

      And to think the dispersion doesn’t even include GDI, which is down 1.2%! No, nothing confusing there!

        1. JohnH

          If no nowcast of q3 GDI, why not? With their fixation on GDP, are economists presuming that it is the one true basis for forecasting? Are they implicitly disparaging a good, alternative measure of economic growth…because it points in a different direction?

          1. pgl

            Dude – you need to apologize to the good folks at BEA. You are the modern day version of Jack Welch in the worst sort of way.

      1. pgl

        The post was about forecasts – not reporting of historical data. Then again you never knew the difference so hey!

    1. Moses Herzog

      How Lindell sells these Dollar Tree level products at Macy’s level pricing is one of the big mysteries of life for me (this is not an insult to Dollar Tree, I shop there maybe once per month, but I am paying prices compatible with the quality I am seeking) . I keep wondering what percentage of Lindell’s customers are homebound/ immobile?? There would be a hard to access data point I would treasure seeing.

    2. Ivan

      That is just beautiful lawyering – make the witness angry so he will be more likely to slip up on the followup questions.

  5. Moses Herzog

    Menzie, I think what you did at the end of the blog post, you must think is a “small gesture”. But sometimes “small gestures” mean a great deal to people. And it meant a lot to me. So, I had to say that.

  6. Moses Herzog

    I was watching Jeremy Brett playing Sherlock Holmes on the internet this very early morning. When I was born my Dad was 46. The age difference is a very strange thing, It’s part of a “disconnect”. Especially when your Dad is German, was raised in a German and very stoic way, and…. many things no one cares about. My Dad and I shared so very few thing as far as interests. And I just remember watching Sherlock Holmes with my Dad, not talking much, Just watching Jeremy Brett’s MASTERFUL performance as Sherlock Holmes in episodes such as “The MAn With The Twisted Lip”. Little talking, just a “shared experience”. We watched it most weeks when it aired on “antenna TV”

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