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July 30, 2012

Obama Quietly Revises Growth Projections... Downwards

Shhhh. We just have a presidential election coming up. We wouldn't want the media broadcasting state secrets about the most relevant and pressing problem we face at the moment.

In its latest update, Obama’s Office of Management and Budget slashed its GDP forecast for 2012, to 2.3% from 2.7%, and for 2013, to 2.7% from 3.0%. Pretty tepid growth.

In the near-term, where we have the greatest knowledge (still sketchy, but the greatest knowledge, since we can just ballpark guess it will be something like current situations), he revises his forecasts downward.

But then, two to five years from now, when our knowledge becomes almost nonexistent, he confidently projects a big bouncing baby boy boomtime recovery, weighing in at a respectable 4.1% in hazy 2015.

Okay. Sure.

How does the White House's "projections" match up against organizations not directly involved in seeking the reelection of their boss?

The correlation is poor.

[T]he IMF recently put out its extended forecast for the U.S economy, and its sees markedly slower growth than the White House: 2.0% in 2012, 2.3% in 2013, 2.8% in 2014, 3.3% in 2015, 3.4% in 2016, and 3.3% in 2017. In total, the White House sees the U.S. economy generating about $1.5 trillion more in real GDP growth during the next six years than the IMF does.

...

And certainly there are mainstream economists out there more gloomy than the IMF. The economic team at JPMorgan, for instance, sees the economy growing at just 1.9% this year and next.

And, as Pethokoukis points out, those projections are all already biased to the optimistic side of things, assuming that this is in fact a real but weak "recovery" which will continue for a long time, rather than, say, bouncing along the bottom in a protracted depression.


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posted by Ace at 04:46 PM

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