Research >> Economics
Forecasters Predict Stronger Labor Market
The outlook for growth in the U.S. economy looks mostly unchanged from that of three months ago, according to 45 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The panel expects real GDP to grow at an annual rate of 2.2 percent this quarter, down from the previous estimate of 2.4 percent. On an annual-average over annual-average basis, the forecasters see real GDP growing 2.3 percent in 2012, down from the previous estimate of 2.4 percent. The forecasters predict real GDP will grow 2.7 percent in 2013, 3.0 percent in 2014, and 3.1 percent in 2015.
Stronger conditions in the labor market accompany the nearly unchanged outlook for real output. Unemployment is projected to be an annual average of 8.3 percent in 2012, before falling to 7.9 percent in 2013, 7.4 percent in 2014, and 6.7 percent in 2015. The estimates for 2012 to 2014 are 0.5 percentage point lower than the projections in the last survey.
On the employment front, the forecasters have revised upward their estimates of the growth in jobs in three out of the next four quarters. The forecasters see nonfarm payroll employment growing at a rate of 160,100 jobs per month this quarter and 141,900 jobs per month next quarter. The forecasters’ projections for the annual-average level of nonfarm payroll employment suggest job gains at a monthly rate of 144,100 in 2012 and 162,900 in 2013, as the table below shows. (These annual-average estimates are computed as the year-to-year change in the annual-average level of nonfarm payroll employment, converted to a monthly rate.)
Posted: February 10, 2012 Friday 10:00 AM