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What History Says About the Fed's GDP Forecast

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In this sneak peek from Action Alerts PLUS, co-portfolio managers Chris Versace and Bob Lang explain why the Federal Reserves GDP forecast stood out far more than the expected rate cut. 


CHRIS VERSACE: But the one question I have for the fed, Bob, is this. If you're going to continue to raise interest rates to fight inflation at the pace you're indicating, do you think that maybe that 1.2% in GDP forecast for 2023 might be a little, I hate to use words from the past, a little exuberant?

BOB LANG: I would say so. And frankly, they've been guiding us a little bit too optimistically on GDP for the past several quarters. And they've had to reduce, as you said, reduce their annual GDP growth for 2022 down to a negligible 0.2. And frankly, we were just talking about before we went on air here, Chris, that I think that that's a little bit too rosy. When you think about the fact that the first half of the year already has baked in two negative readings in GDP, how are you going to get there?

And then we just talked this morning that Cleveland-- I'm sorry, Atlanta fed GDP now came in and reduced their projections for Q3, which is ending next Friday to 0.5. So when you add it all up, when you do the math, are they expecting at least probably a 2% reading or more on GDP growth in the fourth quarter when you've been talking endlessly about how analyst estimates for earnings have been coming down? And even the companies are starting to take their numbers down.

So I don't-- honestly, I can't square how they have come up with even that number. But as you said earlier today, have you ever seen a fed forecasting a negative GDP or a recession? And the answer is no. 

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