Hard to believe, but we’re almost halfway through the second quarter of the year. That’s the point where it makes sense to start checking in on where the regional Fed banks’ forecasting models see GDP growth for the quarter.
The baseline, as always, is the Blue Chip consensus, a number derived from the predictions of leading business economists. The mean forecast of business economists is for the economy to grow at a 3.2 percent rate in the second quarter. The range of forecasts runs from 2.5 to 3.5 percent.
The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model foresees much higher growth. It was last updated on May 9th and predicts a 4.0 percent growth rate. That’s unchanged from May 3rd.
The New York Fed’s Nowcast is more in line with the Blue Chip consensus. It forecasts GDP growing at a 3 percent annualized rate. That too is unchanged from the week prior.
All three measures point toward an economy that is accelerating. In the first quarter, GDP grew at a 2.3 percent rate, according to the official read from the Department of Commerce.