February 2024 Wisconsin Economic Outlook Forecast

Released today. Continued growth in employment, GDP, based on national trends and outlook from SPGMI (report here).

Here’s the employment outlook, now compared to November.

Figure 1: Wisconsin nonfarm payroll employment (bold black), Economic Outlook forecast from February 2024 (red), from November 2023 (light green), forecasted based on national forecast of Survey of Professional Forecasters (light blue), all in 000’s, s.a. Source: BLS via FRED, Department of Revenue, Philadelphia Fed, and author’s calculations.

The SPF implied forecast is based on 2021M07-2024M01 regression in first differences, which indicates each one percentage point increase in US nonfarm payroll employment is associated with a 0.76 percentage point increase in Wisconsin employment (R2 of 0.41). (SPF forecast interpolated to to monthly via quadratic match.)

The substantial brightening in outlook is highlighted by the gap in employment forecast from the November and February reports. That forecast matches pretty closely the ad hoc forecast I generated using SPF forecasts for national employment.

Wisconsin GDP has experienced a less dramatic change in outlook.

Figure 2: Wisconsin GDP (bold black), Economic Outlook forecast from February 2024 (red), from November 2023 (light green), forecasted based on national forecast of Survey of Professional Forecasters (light blue), all in bn.Ch.2017$ SAAR. Source: BEA, Department of Revenue, Philadelphia Fed, and author’s calculations.

The Wisconsin February outlook is slightly less optimistic for 2023, but shows faster growth in 2024, roughly matching the relationship between US and Wisconsin GDP 2018-19. (For GDP, my forecast is based on a regression estimated in first differences, 2018Q1-2019Q4, Adj-R2 = 0.42).

 

 

 

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