New macro forecasts – Q2 GDP to fall at 40% pace

With the number of COVID-19 cases in the US skyrocketing and a rising share of the population under lockdown, we need to revise our macro forecasts quite significantly: We now expect second-quarter real GDP to fall at a 40% annualised pace, with employment declining by 14 million and the unemployment rate spiking to 12%.
Paul Ashworth Chief North America Economist
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US Economics Weekly

Delta impact evident in both CPI and retail sales

While the data released this week showed retail spending picking up in August as price gains moderated, the figures are still consistent with a sharp slowdown in consumption growth in the third quarter while underlying inflationary pressures continue to build.

17 September 2021

US Economics Update

Rising cyclical pressure will keep inflation elevated

The spread of the Delta variant domestically has triggered a temporary reversal in the reopening inflation in high contact services, but its spread across other parts of the world will intensify supply shortages and drive goods prices higher. At the same time, transportation costs are soaring, energy prices are proving more resilient than we expected and cyclical inflation is still building. The upshot is that, while price inflation will fall next year, we expect it to rebound to well above 2% in 2023.

16 September 2021

US Data Response

Retail Sales (Aug.)

Even though the 0.7% rise in headline retail sales in August was much better than expected, the details were far less positive, with big downward revisions to previous months, while the rise in online and grocery store spending, which contrasts with stagnant spending at bars and restaurants, suggesting that Delta fears are playing a key role.

16 September 2021

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US Data Response

GDP (Q1)

Buoyed by the two rounds of stimulus cheques sent out in the first three months of the year, first-quarter GDP growth accelerated to 6.4% annualised, driven by a massive 10.7% surge in consumption. That left the level of GDP less than 1% off its pre-pandemic peak. It will recapture that level in the second quarter and, with the pace of growth we expect, any remaining output gap should be eliminated before the end of this year.

29 April 2021

US Economics Update

Fed remains dovish despite strength of recovery

Although it took a more upbeat tone on the economic outlook and acknowledged that inflation has risen in its statement released after today’s FOMC meeting, the Fed offered no hints that it was considering slowing the pace of its asset purchases, let alone thinking about raising interest rates.

28 April 2021

US Data Response

Employment Report (Mar.)

The better than expected 916,000 rebound in non-farm payrolls in March still leaves employment 8.4 million below its pre-pandemic peak from just over a year ago but, with the vaccination program likely to reach critical mass within the next couple of months and the next round of fiscal stimulus providing a big boost, there is finally real light at the end of the tunnel.

2 April 2021
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