ECONOMIC FORECASTS

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These links are presented for our visitors’ information and amusement, and are NOT intended to be endorsements of the sites or the forecasts.  Like drugs, economic forecasts should be taken with extreme caution.  In other words, if you bet the ranch on these forecasts and lose, don’t sue us!

NOTE:  Dr. Barry Weller, Former Director of ERIE, has expertise and experience in forecasting economic and business variables using time-series techniques such as transfer functions, ARIMA modeling, exponential smoothing, classical decomposition, trend forecasting, etc..  These techniques are applicable when there is a data series of at least 72 data points (i.e., time points), so that the historical pattern can be established.  He is available to do forecasting work on a contract or consulting basis, and can contacted at brw@psu.edu.

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Forecasts by the Economic Research Institute of Erie

Dr. Nesbit's 2009 Forecasts
Dr. Todd Nesbit of the Economic Research Institute of Erie prepares annual forecasts of the Erie economy.  These are employment forecasts for the year ahead, for total employment and for several key industry categories in the Erie area.

PA Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis: Long-Term Industry Employment Projections
CWIA prepares projections for employment by industry (to the 3-digit SIC level) for the state, 15 metro areas (MSAs) including Erie and the 22 Workforce Investment Areas, with data for 2000 and 2010.
Data for Erie and other PA MSAs is here.

PNC Regional Economic Outlook
Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC, prepares economic forecasts for the nation and regions, including annual forecasts for Erie for the coming two years on income, employment, housing starts and other variables.

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The Conference board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators 
The Conference Board prepares a set of closely-watched leading economic indicators for the U.S. and various other countries.  These consist of a set of data series that tend to turn up and down before the overall economy, such as initial unemployment claims, new orders and building permits. While they’re not perfectly consistent, they may help identify coming business cycle peaks and troughs. There are also indexes of coincident and lagging indicators. Press releases, data and charts are available at this site.

Institute for Supply Management (ISM) 
ISM publishes monthly Reports on Business, both manufacturing and non-manufacturing, including measures of production, new orders, backlogs, employment, deliveries, etc.  The manufacturing report includes the Purchasing Managers Index, which is widely watched as a forecasting tool.

Survey of Professional Forecasters (Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank)
The Survey of Professional Forecasters is the oldest quarterly survey of macroeconomic forecasts in the United States. The survey began in 1968 and was conducted by the American Statistical Association and the National Bureau of Economic Research. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia took over the survey in 1990.  They forecast GDP growth, inflation, interest rates, the unemployment rate, industrial production, housing starts, exports, consumption, and a number of other variables. The link above will take you to their website, which includes the latest forecasts, an explanation of their procedure, historical data, and more than you’d ever want to know about their survey.
Background on the survey is available here.

The Livingston Survey (Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank) 
The Livingston Survey was started in 1946 by the late columnist Joseph Livingston, and is now compiled by the Philly Fed. It is the oldest continuous survey of economists' expectations. It summarizes the forecasts of economists from industry, government, banking, and academia.  It is semiannual (June and December) and includes GDP, inflation, the unemployment rate, corporate profits, the S&P 500, industrial production, and a number of other variables.
Background on the survey is available here.

The Anxious Index
New York Times reporter David Leonhardt used the term “anxious index” to refer to the probability of a decline in real GDP, as reported in the Philly Fed’s Survey of Professional Forecasters.  This link will take you to their site. 
Chart of the Anxious Index is available here.

Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey
Subscribers to the Wall Street Journal can find their monthly survey of over 50 economists in the paper and online.  They forecast GDP, interest rates, inflation, the unemployment rate corporate profits, housing starts, some exchange rates and other variables.

The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank's Economic Outlook Symposium
Presents the median forecast for inflation, unemployment and economic growth from the participants at the Chicago Fed's Economic Outlook Symposium.

The Federal Reserve System
While the Fed does NOT release forecasts, it may be useful to review a couple of their documents for hints about their upcoming policies.

The Beige Book: Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District                                            
Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector.

Actions of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)
The FOMC is the key unit affecting monetary policy in the U.S. They issue a statement after each of their 8-per-year regular meetings which contains their assessment of the current situation and their plans for monetary policy for the near future.

Monetary Policy Reports to Congress
The Fed reports to Congress twice a year.  Some can glean hints as to their upcoming policy from the statements.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Forecasts 
It can also be found here.
The BLS produces employment forecasts to 2010 for the nation by industry and occupation, as well as by education or job training level, and for the civilian labor force by age, sex and race.  Released December 2001.
Other BLS analyses and projections include:
The aggregate economy is available here.
By occupation, it is available here.

National Association for Business Economics: Business Conditions Survey (previously Industry Survey)
A panel of business economists summarize current conditions and provide their forecast for the national economy.  The full report is reserved for subscribers, but non-members can access a summary at the link above.

PNC National Economic Outlook 
Gus Faucher, the chief economist for PNC, prepares economic forecasts for the nation and regions, including quarterly and annual forecasts for the coming two years on output, income, employment, inflation and interest rates. The full December 2018 outlook can be found here.

University of Michigan’s RSQE (Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics)                                                                                                                                                                      
RSQE produces forecasts for the next two years for typical macro variables such as GDP, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, capacity utilization, housing starts, disposable income, corporate profits, the federal budget deficit, etc.

The Bond Market Association: Economic Outlook 
Forecasts for the coming year for a typical set of macro variables: GDP, interest rates, unemployment, inflation, consumption, investment, housing starts, government expenditures, etc.

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The World Bank: Global Economic Prospects 
The World Bank publishes an annual overview of the world and its economies, which includes forecasts for regions and countries GDP, inflation, interest rates, oil prices and other variables. Downloads are available as full reports, GDP growth data, report charts, press release, or report archives.

The International Monetary Fund: World Economic Outlook
The IMF prepares semi-annual reports on the world economy, including forecasts, for regions and some individual countries, including variables such as GDP, prices, unemployment, interest rates, trade and capital flows.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Economic Outlook                                       
The OECD prepares an economic outlook for each of its 23 member nations on a semiannual basis, including data on GDP, consumption and saving, capitol formation, imports and exports, wages, employment and unemployment, inflation, productivity, government budgets, interest rates, etc.

Leading Indicators 
The OECD calculates indexes of leading indicators on a monthly basis for 23 countries including the Euro area, Japan, Canada and the U.S.

European Union
The European Union presents semi-annual forecasts for European economies and some others (U.S., Japan), over a two-year horizon for a broad range of macroeconomic variables.

The Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators
Along with its index for the U.S. (listed Above), the Conference Board also prepares leading economic indicators for various other countries.

AIB Corporate & Commercial Treasury (part of Allied Irish Banks)                                                            
Presents a monthly report on indicators and forecasts for the US and world economies, including leading indicators, exchange rates, interest rates, GDP, etc.